Van Wagenen: Lubbock not a bad place in a downturn

Lubbock Centennial

By Chris Van Wagenen | A-J BUSINESS EDITOR

Friday, October 17, 2008

Is the country in or headed for a deep recession?

If so, be happy you’re living in Lubbock.

A report published by Business Week ranked the Hub City among the 20 safest places to live in the U.S. during a major downturn where vast portions of the population are employed by government, health care, education, agriculture and legal services.

“I think it’s totally logical and accurate,” said Gary Lawrence, CEO for the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance who examined the report and wasn’t at all surprised by its findings.

Business Week compiled the data with the help of, which made use of extensive demographic information in determining which cities would stand up best over the course of a recession.

Of the 20 Metropolitan Statistical Areas selected, Lubbock ranked 11th based on what the authors described as “layers of protection” involving health care and education sectors as well as its locale inside an energy-producing center.

Corpus Christi was the only other Texas city ranked in the report.

Amarillo economist Karr Ingham, who publishes the monthly Lubbock Economic Index on behalf of Lubbock National Bank/LEDA, said the report’s premise has some roots.

“I’ve always wondered how Lubbock shows up in these reports,” he said, alluding to another report two weeks ago by bond rating company Moodys, which also cast Lubbock in a good light.

“Lubbock always seems to come out on the favorable end of these analyses,” said Ingham, who has followed the area’s economy for a dozen years.

“One thing we know about the Lubbock economy is when it’s put to the test, it just dusts itself off and continues to grow at modest, but steady pace,” he said.


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This article by Chris Van Wagenen appear in the Lubbock Centennial on Friday October, 17, 2008.