Economic Indicators of the College Station-Bryan MSA, February 2019

Authors: PERC Date: February 2019

The Business Cycle Index for the month of December 2018 rose at an annualized rate of 4.6%, slightly above the long-run average. Nonfarm employment in College Station-Bryan rose slightly between November and December 2018 and is up 2.7% from its December 2017 figure. The unemployment rate, while low by historical standards, increased to 3% in December 2018 from 2.8% in November. Real taxable sales rose 0.8% in December and was 9.3% higher than sales in December 2017. In our focus section we discuss how official poverty rates for “college towns” are misleading because of the relatively large share of college students and show that in applying a modified poverty measure, the rate in Brazos County drops from 26% to 15% after adjusting for college students.

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Keywords: Economic Indicators, GDP, College Station, Bryan, Brazos, economy