Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Health Care Leads the Way for Lubbock

Health Care Leads the Way for Lubbock


For the past 10 years, one of the local banks has brought to Lubbock guest speaker Ray Perryman, Ph.D., president and CEO of The Perryman Group. He is an economist, and his firm measures economic metrics for corporate locations and expansions involving billions in investments. His economic forecasts are used by hundreds of corporations and government agencies. He regularly is quoted in the Wall Street Journal and other publications. On top of that, he is an interesting and entertaining person, which is somewhat rare for economics, called the “dismal science” by Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle. Plus, while he travels all over the world, he lives in Odessa!

Perryman said the Texas economy is growing at a relatively healthy pace and continues to be widely recognized as a good place to do business. Recovery in the energy sector is improving (important to our region), but also in other sectors throughout the state. Manufacturing industries also are expanding. I always glance at the first page of the want ads in the Sunday Lubbock Avalanche Journal to get a sense of who is trying to hire. This past Sunday, there were urgent calls for oil field workers.  That is a good sign. Lubbock’s own unemployment rate is extremely low.

Perryman talked about how the strength of the Texas economy will help with short-term issues such as the recovery process from Hurricane Harvey, as well as with long-term challenges such as preparing for the needs of the future. Most economists are not too troubled by the financial impact of hurricanes and such, They are troubled, along with the rest of us, of course, by the toll on humanity and destruction of physical property. But, their economic position is that the rebuilding after a hurricane (or other natural disaster) creates many jobs and brings new money to areas hit. This might seem hard-hearted, but again, this is from the economic perspective they possess.

What interested me the most were his comments about Lubbock. He noted that growth in the Lubbock area is expected to occur at a pace faster than the nationwide rates with very low unemployment. Have you seen all the construction going on? And guess which sector seems to be leading the way? It is health care. He mentioned the great economic engine that the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is to the region. We all know that intuitively, but it is nice to hear him say it in a room of 400 people.