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Truth About Houston’s Economy: Wednesday’s Show (February 18, 2015)

Late last month, Forbes magazine published its list of the fastest growing U.S. cities for 2015. Houston ranked No. 1. Austin was No. 2. Dallas was third. Fort Worth and San Antonio also cracked the top ten. The list is based on population growth, employment data, and other economic indicators. Even with oil prices dropping precipitously […]

Late last month, Forbes magazine published its list of the fastest growing U.S. cities for 2015. Houston ranked No. 1. Austin was No. 2. Dallas was third. Fort Worth and San Antonio also cracked the top ten. The list is based on population growth, employment data, and other economic indicators.

Even with oil prices dropping precipitously in the last several months, there’s still a sense that economically, Houston – and these other major cities in Texas – are only growing.

And yet: Dr. Mark Frank, an economics professor at Sam Houston State University has research indicating Texas is in the top ten in income inequality in the nation.

Does topping Forbes’ list offer us confidence about Houston’s economic future? Do recent oil company layoffs mean we’re headed for a downturn, or are we just slightly less successful? Does Dr. Frank’s research suggest economic success in Texas is only for some of us? So, just what is the truth about our economy?

On this edition of Houston Matters, we seek the truth, as we talk with Dr. Mark Frank, researcher Patrick Jankowski from the Greater Houston Partnership, and Houston Public Media business reporter Andrew Schneider. We welcome your thoughts as well.

Also: News 88.7 energy and environment reporter Dave Fehling joins us to discuss his report about concerns over the effects of a refinery dumping “catalyst dust” on homes.

And: A Rice University class focused on hip-hop and religion goes online next month. It’s led by Anthony Pinn and Houston-based rapper Bun B. Houston Matters’ Maggie Martin talks with the two about collaborating on the course.

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