Perry's Texas has jobs, but also good luck

July 26, 2011 - 2:44 PM
Perry Jobs

FILE - In this July 18, 2011 file photo, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks in Austin, Texas. When it comes to attracting jobs, is Perry really such a force to be reckoned with? That question is stirring discussion as Texas markets itself as a job mecca and Perry ponders whether to run for president. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Texas has added more than 1 million jobs since Gov. Rick Perry took office in 2001, more than nearly every other state combined. That makes Texas look like an employment mecca as Perry decides whether to run for president in an election that will be focused on jobs.

But experts say Texas' jobs stem from more than just the low taxes and minimal regulation Perry trumpets.

Rich natural resources and a spike in oil prices made a huge difference, with the oil and gas work force growing 60 percent since 2001. A low cost of living and cheap housing also keep Texas among the nation's fastest growing states.

The jobs picture also isn't entirely rosy. June numbers put the Texas unemployment rate at 8.2 percent, higher than two dozen states.