Economic and Workforce Issues

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Economic & Workforce Issues in Dallas County

“In most areas around the nation there are jobs available in certain high skill areas, but we don’t have the educational basis for it or we don’t have the immigrant pool for it, or whatever it may be. There is a skills mismatch; that’s part of the problem.” — Richard Fisher, president, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

  • 100,000 new jobs were created in the metroplex in 2013.
  • 63% of new jobs require post-secondary education, but over half require less than a bachelor’s degree.
  • 96% of chief academic officers rate their institution as effective at preparing students for work.
  • 14% of Americans strongly agree that college graduates are prepared for success at work.
  • 11% of business leaders strongly agree that graduates have the skills their businesses need.

Hispanics represent 39% of the population in the metroplex. Of this group, 51% do not have a high school diploma and 30% have less than a ninth graduate education.

Blacks and Hispanics over 25 with a college degree:

  • 8% of Hispanics
  • 15% of blacks

Demand vs. Supply in Dallas*

Registered Nurse

  • 6,179 jobs exist.
  • 447 students graduated from a college of Dallas College with an award in a related field.


  • 3,659 jobs exist.
  • 55 students graduated from a college of Dallas College with an award in a related field.

Electronics Engineering

  • 3,299 jobs exist.
  • 108 students graduated from a college of Dallas College with an award in a related field.

Information Technology

  • 7,576 jobs exist.
  • 336 students graduated from a college of Dallas College with an award in a related field.

21% of adults in the metroplex have some college, but no degree.

Many have accumulated debt without the benefit of degrees which lead to better job prospects and higher lifetime earnings.

*May 2014, Data/credit

Achieve Texas Clusters Job Growth 2020 With Wages*

(in order of most job openings to least job openings)

Achieve Texas ClusterJob Growth 2010-2020
2011 Employment-Weighted Wages
hospitality and tourism22.9% $21,127
marketing and sales
business and management16.3%$56,796
education and training
health science
transportation and logistics16.5%$34,725
human services
agriculture and natural resources
law and public safety21.7%$50,703
information technology22.3%$80,942
arts, A/V communication13.4%$48,199

*Will and Skill: Aligning Educational Initiatives with the Texas Labor Market, Labor Market & Career Information (LMCI), Texas Workforce Commission

Snapshots for High-Demand Sectors in Dallas 2010-2020

Health Care

  • 32% growth rate.
  • +56,110 jobs.
  • Area of greatest need: registered nurse.
    • 8.1% current vacancy rate with 23% of need met by Dallas College graduates, ranked #1 in area hospital survey, 2014.
    • 7,600 openings through 2020 (31.5% growth).
    • 1,916 average annual job openings.


  • 34% growth rate.
  • +34,380 jobs.
  • Area of greatest need: elementary and secondary school teachers.
    • 35.9% projected growth.
    • 26,180 jobs.
    • 2,455 average annual job openings.


  • 15% growth rate.
  • +10,300 jobs.
  • 6,500 positions currently open in Dallas County.
  • 78,700 positions in Dallas by 2020 (ESMI).
  • Last four years, Dallas College’s output in construction:
    • 141 associate degrees.
    • 520 first-level certificates.
    • 62 second-level certificates
    • 6,500 courses taken through continuing education.
  • 9.65 month backlog for commercial/industrial construction (Contractor Backlog Indicator).
  • $327 million in contracts for infrastructure projects in Dallas County listed on the April 2014 Texas Department of Transportation report.
  • $70,279,000 forecast contracts for infrastructure for 2015.

Earnings and Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment

DegreeUnemployment Rate in 2012
Median Weekly Earnings in 2012
doctoral degree2.5%$1,624
professional degree2.1%$1,735
master’s degree3.5%$1,300
bachelor’s degree4.5%$1,066
associate degree6.2%$785
some college, no degree7.7%$727
high school diploma8.3%$654
less than a high school diploma12.4%$471
all workers6.8%$815

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