Recovery is Complete, Houston is Now in Expansion Mode
2011 proved to be a good year for Houston. Oil never fell below $75 a barrel, foreign trade grew faster than ever before, and by mid-October employment had passed its pre-recession peak. Houston has completed the recovery and is now in expansion mode.
The energy sector has had the biggest impact on Houston’s recovery. For the period from October 2010 to October 2011, Houston added 79,500 jobs with one in seven of the new jobs directly related to the energy industry, whether through exploration and production, distribution or equipment manufacturing.
The Partnership’s forecast calls for the region to add 84,600 jobs next year, with private sector gains far more than offsetting public sector losses. The greatest gains will come in manufacturing, 11,700 jobs; professional, scientific and technical services, 10,700; administrative support services, 10,800; and health care, 10,300. Some sectors will continue to shed jobs, the greatest losses coming in the government sector as austerity measures implemented by the state legislature in the summer impact Houston-area school districts next fall.