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Special Report

Beyond the Health Crisis: Texas/Oklahoma Special Report

Summer, 2020

Texas and Oklahoma Begin Economic Revival With Early Reopening; Resulting Coronavirus Surge Poses Risks

Quick reopening aids initial economic recovery, risks a second wave of lockdowns. While some states were slow to reopen, Texas and Oklahoma had fewer infections early on, enabling a phased reopening of their economies in May. This early action quelled the preliminary disruption by allowing many to return to work; however, infections have accelerated as a result. This could pose a significant risk, as diminishing hospital capacity may coax legislators to impose more restrictions. Nevertheless, the local governments’ response to the pandemic has bolstered Texas’ reputation as one of the more business-friendly states, and firms may be more willing to relocate there as they become frustrated with their own states’ policies. Corporations had been consistently establishing workforces in Texas prior to the pandemic, shown by Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin’s rapid employment growth over the past decade.

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