Maintaining a robust Texas economy and mitigating the talent shortage forecast for the next decade requires addressing several long-term challenges to the Texas workforce.

Key Takeaways
  • Industries of opportunity drive workforce demand.
    Healthcare, education, finance and insurance, transportation and warehousing, and oil and gas are Texas’s top industries of opportunity and are important drivers of workforce demand. These sectors are significant in size and either primary sources of growth or employment or both.
  • The demand for workers with postsecondary credentials is rising.
    Both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, occupations that require postsecondary education grew by 17 percent while the demand for workers with a high school diploma or less grew by only 10 percent.
  • Texas’s educational infrastructure must be aligned with workforce demand.
    Not all occupations supporting the state’s industries of opportunity are represented in the top higher education fields of study, and some of the most popular fields of study are not related to industries of opportunity.
  • Labor force trends highlight challenges ahead.
    Labor force demographics foreshadow slowing growth. If current trends continue, Texas may not have enough workers on its own to fill new jobs if economic growth continues as expected.
Key Data
  • 8 of the top 10 occupations in Texas pay wages lower than a living wage.
  • Only jobs requiring a high school diploma, equivalent, or less decreased in the aggregate between 2019-2021.
  • 90% of Texas jobs requiring a high school diploma or less actually require some form of additional training that is being increasingly provided by higher education institutions.
  • As a share of the working-age population, the Texas Hispanic population eclipses the U.S. Hispanic population by 20.3 percentage points. At the same time, only 18.1% of Texas Hispanics aged 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 33.1% of U.S. Hispanics.
  • If the state’s labor force grows at the same rate it grew in 2021, the Texas labor force will grow from 15 million to 17.9 million by 2036. Almost half of this growth will be among 25 to 44-year-olds, 18% will be among those 55 and older, while only 8% will be among those 24 and younger. This points to a relatively young, but aging, labor force.