Check In: The Latest Economic Indicators for North Texas


For those considering the opportunity to launch a business of their own through franchising, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of our local economic indicators. Following the national trends, including the stock market and inflation, is one thing. But if you’re looking to set up shop in North Texas or Oklahoma, it’s wise to keep a trained eye on the monthly reports from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Be sure to bookmark their Economic Research Publications page – Dallas-Fort Worth Economic Indicators, which is a monthly online overview of key economic indicators.

Their most recent report details our outlook as of April 26, and it includes plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Here are some of the key takeaways:

Employment in DFW

The first three months of 2022 (Q1) paint a rosy picture of our local employment growth, which is broken down by sector. Payrolls expanded 7.4%, with the addition of more than 70,000 new jobs. Of the 11 different sectors that the Dallas Fed monitors – everything from professional business services and manufacturing to hospitality and construction – only one contracted, “Other Services.” All other trade industry sectors saw growth over Q4 2021, especially the education, health services, and leisure categories.

The Business Cycle Index

Another strong showing in this economic indicator, with a robust expansion in March, thanks to increasing job growth and plummeting unemployment figures. Annualized, the Dallas index climbed nearly 20% – the 22nd consecutive increase, while Fort Worth rose 14.7% – the 13th consecutive increase.

Dining Out

Statistics related to dining out in bars and restaurants is an interesting and telltale economic indicator. When times are good, more people choose to enjoy themselves and let others do the cooking. In leaner times, people tighten their budgets and less of them dine out, often creating a ripple effect on other sectors of the local economy. Tracking seated dining reservations, Dallas and the U.S. in general are back to pre-pandemic levels but signals a slight downturn – only to be offset by the entire state of Texas, which remains well above 2019 activity.

Commercial Real Estate

As more and more businesses call their employees back to the office, the commercial real estate sector continues to be on the rise for the second consecutive quarter. The overall vacancy rate has dropped, two-thirds of all subleasing activity involved Class A space, and the volume of square footage under construction increased by 5.2 million in Q1.

Of course, for entrepreneurs worried about the small business lending market, the elephant in the room continues to be concern over inflation. The U.S. inflation rate actually dropped 0.2%, which doesn’t sound like much, but it is the first time we’ve noted a decrease of any kind in the past eight consecutive months. With the Fed’s aggressive moves to curb inflation through rate hikes, we can all keep our fingers crossed for further reductions.

If you like what you’re hearing about the state of our local area economy and wish to explore an entrepreneurial future, there’s a full range of franchise opportunities we can introduce you to. Let FranNet of DFW & Oklahoma be your guide, as our no-cost, no-obligation consultations have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs in North Texas and Oklahoma secure a future that belongs to them and them alone. If you’d like to get started on your own entrepreneurial journey, we’d love to introduce you to a whole new world of possibilities through franchise ownership.

May 16, 2022