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Economist says SETX has a bright future - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Economist says SETX has a bright future

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In his economic forecast a Southeast Texas economist says more jobs will become available this year and he's optimistic about the petro chemical industry as well.

Working as a small business owner for more than two decades Lupe Cortez has one hope for 2013, that business is better than last year.

Cortez says he's been self-employed since 1988 and 2012 was by far his worst year.

With last years rocky economy and many still looking for jobs Cortez says business at the Gateway Mobile station was down as least 40 percent.

For an audience of small business owners and industry officials the greater Beaumont chamber of commerce brought in an area economist to discuss the future of Southeast Texas in 2013.

Economist Ted Jones said the golden triangle added 14 thousand new jobs last year and this year the petro chemical companies are expanding adding thousands to the workforce.

"We're going to see more job growth in the next 12 months not just temporary construction jobs but a lot of permanent jobs in this region," said Jones.

He says this is going to affect our housing market as well.

"We're looking at, and it's already happening now, an increase in home prices, increase in rents, retail sales are up."

"That sounds like an increase in population which would translate into an increase in business," said Cortez.

And an increase in business is something both employers and job seekers can look forward to.

Jones says Texas is ranked as the 9th best state in the country in which to do business.

With all of the industry and job growth our area should see in 2013 he says tourism and the hospitality industry should do well too.

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