Salaries and cost of living.

One is pretty much useless without the other.

Keep that in mind when reading another one of those “it’s complicated” news pieces attempting to frame the Texas economy as a negative rather than a positive. For example…..

Miracle or Mirage, What Kinds of Jobs Has Texas Created? Becca Aaronson, Texas Tribune

According to statistics from the Texas Workforce Commission, the annual median wage in 2010 for all occupations in Texas was $31,500, or 7 percent less than the national median.

There’s no reason to doubt those numbers. However, when you take into consideration Texas’ cost of living rankings:

The cost of living in texas is much lower than almost every state in the nation. The same job that would generally only cover the cost of apartment living is the same cost ratio as the cost of home living. Whether you are looking to live in Austin, Houston, Dallas or San Antonio, Finding an affordable home to living in is not a stretch of the old imagination

It’s easy to see where the raw number comparison falls flat.

So, next time you see an article dismissing the Texas economy, make sure to see if it’s telling you the entire story, or just cherry-picking the pieces OF the story the news outlet in question wants you to see. Given Texas’ relatively inexpensive housing costs and low tax burdens, that 7% salary gap can be eaten away fairly quickly.

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