Amarillo's economy boasts a promising outlook

Amarillo, TX - Amarillo's employment level is approaching an all-time high. Amarillo wrapped up 2011 with a 4.9 percent unemployment rate, that's nearly half the national level.

The Texas Workforce Commission says there are around 127,000 people in Amarillo employed right now. It's giving some of the credit to the panhandle's oil sector as well as it's medical centers, calling Amarillo a "regional health hub." With the nation's down economy, it continues to weather the economic storm.

"We have a strong medical center, we have very good banks in Amarillo, a good manufacturing core," Amarillo National Bank Vice President Patrick Ware said. "When this drought ends... our farmers and ranchers will do well, the dairies and farmers continue to show profits."

Local experts say manufacturing jobs, like those with Bell Helicopter, have also been instrumental in providing our economy a solid foundation.

Since last summer the local unemployment rate has continued to drop, even as the labor force effect has gone up.