Houston – 2011 Economic Outlook
Houston ranked among the top-performing U.S. metros at the start of 2011, even as the effects of the economic recession that began in late 2007 continued to be felt globally. Although 2009 was undeniably challenging with local job losses totaling 95,200, it should be noted that this was the first year of job losses for Houston, following a stellar period of expansion and job growth from 2005 to 2008. And while the local metro still has economic hurdles to overcome, Houston is once again making headlines as one of the least affected markets in the nation. In its March 2011 issue, Site Selection awarded Texas the Governor’s Cup for new project activity, with 424 projects of which 152 are located in the Houston MSA. Houston ranked #2 for Tier One New and Expanded Facilities in 2010 of MSA’s with population over 1 million. In addition, Chief Executive Magazine (for the seventh straight year) named Texas as the number one state for Best Business, in which Houston’s Energy Industry played a huge part. In May, Modis, the second largest North American IT staffing service provider, named Houston as one of the top cities for IT jobs and Fastcompany.com named Houston as “2011 Fast City of the Year”.
Houston Employment Sector
Houston’s employment sector has weathered the recession better than most major metro areas. The downturn here was short-lived and the Houston MSA began recovering jobs sooner than most, recovering more than two-thirds of the jobs it lost in the recession. Between April 2010 and April 2011, Houston posted the second most job gains out of the 12 most populous U.S. major metros, and had stronger job growth than the U.S. as a whole as seen in the graph below.