When it comes to job creation, Big D stands for disappointment. Dallas-Fort Worth is reputed to be one of the country’s great economic drivers, a bona fide jobs machine. Every year, the region seems to lead the nation or be near the top in adding workers. But New York, Los Angeles, Detroit and the like make for easy competition.
Compare DFW with Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and the rest of Texas, and it doesn’t measure up too well. Go a few steps further and separate Dallas-Plano-Irving from Fort Worth-Arlington, and Dallas County from Collin, and it’s almost embarrassing.
Let’s call it like it is: Dallas, the laggard.
Among the state’s 10 largest counties, only Dallas lost private jobs in the past decade, with a net loss of 111,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Next-door, Collin County,—about one-third the size—added 98,000 in the same time. Even with Plano and government hires included, the falloff since 2000 has been so sharp that it’s fair to ask whether Dallas’ best days are behind it.
Maybe a downtown revival, DART light rail, and the growing University of Texas at Dallas can build some mojo, because the city needs something.