Marcus Hiles, the Chairman and CEO of Western Rim Property Services, says that state policies have resulted in job growth that outpaces the rest of the U.S. Texas achieved post-recession job recovery more than two years ahead of the nation as a whole, and by January 2016 had added over 1.3 million jobs to its pre-recession employment peak. Because the state’s unemployment rate has been consistently lower than in the rest of the country – in April, it was 4.4 percent compared to 5 percent nationwide – consumer confidence has been robust. May’s Texas Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), which measures economic optimism through savings and spending habits, was 117.6, in contrast to the U.S. CCI of 92.6. The vigorous Texas economy – stimulated by more than $5 billion in tax cuts over the past three years – has also been a boon to the housing market. The year-over-year price of existing homes increased by 5.9 percent and the number of single-family building permits by 6 percent.