Business Services & Industry
While agriculture continues to play a vital role in the economic sustainability of the region, the changing and increasing needs of a vibrant community have given birth to other flourishing industries, namely manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, real estate, banking, education, healthcare and tourism. Leading employment demographics posted by the City of Lubbock and the Texas Workforce Commission reflect a total nonagricultural workforce of 124,700, with employees in service related jobs leading the workforce at 37,600, followed closely by wholesale/retail sales jobs at 33,000 and a collective federal, state and local government workforce of 26,500.
Restaurants and hotel chains are rapidly springing up across the Lubbock landscape to keep up with the demands of a growing tourism and convention industry. Lubbock has been the sight of the Miss Texas pageant for the past four years and the Farmers Stockman Show for the past nine years. Several state and national conventions select Lubbock due to its geographical proximity, great climate and fine amenities.
Texas Tech University and Covenant Health Systems are the two largest employers in the city. Texas Tech recently posted increases in student enrollment from 25,000 in 2001 to 27,500 students in 2002. The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce estimates that more than 20 percent of local business comes from Texas Tech students.
The demands for additional beds and medical services continue to increase as evidenced by continued building expansions at Covenant Health Systems and other medical facilities. Banking institutions such as Lubbock-owned American State Bank and City Bank continue to expand their list of customer services.
Small local businesses such as LaLa’s Restaurant, owned by LaLa and Conrado Cavazos, have served the Lubbock community for over 25 years. The Lighthouse Candle, a specialty shop located at the South Plains Mall, owned by Pete and Dela Esqueda, has relocated twice to accommodate growth.
Lubbock employment trends remain strong and expectations are high that the economy will continue to reflect the vibrant economic stability of the region. This is one of the reasons why Forbes magazine and the Milken Institute ranked Lubbock 27th in its Best Places for Business & Careers National Listing of Cities for 2002.