SAN ANGELO, Texas — A handful of different categories are giving a helping hand to the San Angelo economy. A new statistic from the 2010 Census shows that the City of San Angelo is 10 percent larger in population now. This has an impact on economic boosts the city is seeing such as, unemployment percentages going down and housing permits going up.
“Shows we are a vibrant community that’s actually expanding and growing and that’s where we’d like to be” Walt Koenig the CEO of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce said.
It’s no secret that on a national scale the housing market has been hit hard thanks to the pandemic. However, San Angelo is on an upward trend specifically when it comes to housing permits.
“Those permits will transition into starts and construction and I think that material costs and labor availability is going to kind of modulate that a little bit, but we are certainly seeing a lot in the pipeline and we like to see that for sure because we need more inventory in the housing market,” Koenig said.
As Koenig puts it there are two types of communities right now, one that is successful and having trouble with housing and the other that is less successful and having an excess of housing.
“Those are less successful and they have an excess of housing we’d rather be in the first category for sure,” Koenig said.
His reasoning? He tells us he has been dealt that hand before in a larger city and the open land in San Angelo makes more growth a possibility.
“Buildable land was a big problem; development costs were a big problem. We don’t have that challenge here, so we have a lot of space to move and a lot of space to grow. And that certainly advantages San Angelo in lots of ways,” Koenig said.
On one hand housing permits are up and on the other unemployment is down. San Angelo sits at 5.8 unemployment and leads West Texas in terms of municipalities in low unemployment rates. However, for economic developers a good market sits at 5 percent. So, some changes still need to be met.
“We need more people here to work in the businesses we have, and we certainly need more professionals here to help us to grow into the kind of community and kind of economy we’re seeking to be,” Koenig said.
Specifically, in trades that saw a drop due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The services industry the hospitality industry, there is a lot of availability there and as we’re filling those up, we’ll see even more economic growth and more economic performance,” Koenig explains.
Walt Koenig also emphasizes that looking forward for the City of San Angelo, more manufacturing jobs are interested in coming to the area and increased trade is a possibility thanks to the rail port and rail capacity and the linkages that provides to Mexico.