The Lubbock economy advances into its eighth year of expansion, an unprecedented span of growth. The number of people employed, 149,100, was at an all-time high in March and the unemployment rate, at 3.1 percent, is so low that some sectors which rely on unskilled labor are reporting shortages.
“There’s still good news,” Randy Laycock, Lubbock National Bank senior vice president, announced at a press conference. “Lubbock still has a growing economy.”
As a result, consumer spending, adjusted for inflation, pulled ahead nearly 7 percent in March compared with the same period a year ago. Auto sales, adjusted for inflation, rose to 8 percent to record levels in the first quarter of 2019 compared to a year earlier.
Trey Hayes, general manager of Hayes Motor Company which sells pre-owned cars, said he sees demand exceeding supply in his market. “Our company is undergoing a significant expansion at our Frankford location,” Hayes said at the press conference. Consumer confidence, pricier new cars and availability of credit all boosted his business, he said.
Other engines powering the Lubbock economy include: