Dennis Jansen Speaks About April's Economic Indicators on KBTX

Apr 21, 2021
Summary: Dennis Jansen was interviewed for a story on the April issue of Economic Indicators, on Monday, April 19, 2021 on KBTX news. Jansen spoke on the latest employment and unemployment numbers listed in the report, gave an update on the oil and gas industry, and voiced his hopes for the economy going forward.
 
With a slight increase of 0.3% in February, the College Station-Bryan Business-Cycle Index has continued to hold steady near 215. Dennis Jansen stated “…I'd say we are continuing to move slowly towards normalization. In fact, our local economy had pretty well been in a holding pattern, with slightly more ups than downs since September…Employment remains about 5 percent below where it was last February in 2020 before the pandemic really hit. And so, we've made a big move towards recovery, but since September, the move has pretty much slowed to a crawl.”
 
Simultaneously, the oil and gas industry – one of Texas’ main industries - has also suffered a downturn.
“Texas is suffering from what you might call a double whammy of the pandemic and the fall in oil prices that occurred last spring and summer. The U.S.A. rig count, if you will, was above 900 through August 2019 and was still just under 800 in early March of 2020, right before the restrictions due to the pandemic. At that time, the rig count nosedived to under 250 and it still stands at 440, still under half-below the pre-pandemic numbers,” said Jansen.
 
Jansen said that there are still reasons to be optimistic about the future of the local economy. “I do have big hopes going forward with the ongoing vaccinations and Texas A&M’s announcement that they are going to resume something like business as usual in the fall. The football stadium will, presumably, be full with fans, which means that local businesses will be better with lodging and meals, students will return to in-person classes, or at least largely in-person classes, so they will be largely living in the local community and consuming housing and entertainment in the local community, Texas A&M will again be hosting conferences …[these] will go a long way towards helping those businesses who were most harmed by the pandemic which are those in the entertainment and lodging and food service industries.”

See the full interview on KBTX News.

Read the April issue of Economic Indicators here.