Automatic text wrapping in ArcMap layout text element?

Yes - I use the Rectangle Text tool from the Draw toolbar instead.

It is not well known (see the number of times it is requested on ArcGIS Ideas) but is documented as Adding text that flows within a graphic:

You can add text that flows within a graphic to your map annotation or graphic text by using the Polygon Text, Rectangle Text, and Circle Text tools on the Draw toolbar.

There is an ArcGIS Idea entitled Insert | Text and/or Text Element Properties to support text wrapping that you may want to add your vote to.