The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

A&M bolsters local economy

Texas A&M, with its hefty payroll and well-heeled student body, helps insulate Bryan-College Station from the nationwide economic slowdown, local business leaders said.
With an unemployment rate of 1.7 percent, Bryan-College Station boasts the lowest unemployment of any metropolitan area in the country at a time when other cities are experiencing rising jobless rates, according to the December 2002 data report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national average is 5.7 percent.
“We have not been impacted overall as much as the nation in general,” said Royce Hickman, president of the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce. “A number of the jobs in this area are related to the government, with Texas A&M University, the Texas A&M system, two large school districts, and health care centers.”
More than 21,000 local residents work for the University and for A&M System offices located in College Station, with a total payroll of $603 million.
In the Oct. 14 issue of Business Weekly, Bryan-College Station was named one of the twelve “pockets of prosperity.” Like Bryan-College Station, most of the other cities on the list were located near a major university or another large government entity.
“The University is a major economic engine, providing educational and research opportunities, as well as being the largest employer for this area and the more rural surrounding areas,” Hickman said.
In addition to being a large employer, A&M is also a more steady employer than the private sector, said Garry Basinger, vice president of development for the Bryan-College Station Economic Development Corporation.
“It also helps employment rates that the University is a government entity; therefore, mass layoffs are simply not an option,” Basinger said. “A&M provides stable jobs for people in this recession-proof economy.”
For each month of the last seven years, the Brazos Valley has recorded the lowest unemployment rate among the 26 metropolitan areas in Texas, Basinger said.
“The area has a pretty good track record, and it all goes back to A&M and its place as the huge stabilizer of our economy,” he said.
The local economy benefits from the money students spend in the community, which totaled $211 million in 2002. Students also provide a ready supply of prospective employees for local businesses.
Even though many businesses are waiting to see what the economic fallout is from the war in Iraq before making any major decisions, some companies have moved into the Brazos Valley to take advantage of the student body for its value as part-time employees, Basinger said.
“Students make great employees for the retail and non-retail sectors,” Basinger said. “Among the nine different business sectors we target are call centers which provide a convenient job opportunities for students with different class schedules.”
To accommodate the growing number of students who want to stay in the area following graduation, College Station’s business development department tries to attract high-paying jobs that require a college education, Basinger said.

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