Houston Economic Update – January 2014

by CoyDavidson on January 10, 2014

aerial of modern buildings in downtown Houston

Houston Economy at a Glance – January 2014

The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metro area once again leads the state in job growth, adding 86,200 jobs in the 12 months ending November ’13, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The Dallas-Fort Worth metro ranked second, creating 83,700 jobs. Austin-Round Rock ranked third, creating 22,500 jobs.

Houston’s unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in November, the lowest point since December ’08, the month prior to Houston entering the Great Recession. Houston’s unemployment rate peaked at 8.8 percent in June ’11 and has trended downward ever since. Since the bottom of the recession, the metro area has added 354,200 net new jobs, or 231.4 percent of the 153,100 jobs lost during the recession.

The Greater Houston Partnership forecasts the 10-county Houston metro area will create 69,800 jobs in ’14, slowing from 2.8 percent last year to a still-robust 2.5 percent this year. Employment will grow in all major sectors, with professional and business services, education and health services, and trade, transportation and utilities turning in the strong-est performances. Energy and manufacturing will grow, but at slower paces. The year should end with 2.9 million payroll jobs, a net increase of more than 500,000 jobs since January ’05. Only two other metros—New York and Dallas-Fort Worth—will be able to make a similar claim.

Houston Economic Indicators – January 2014

The Federal Reserve of Dallas reported the Houston Business-Cycle Index accelerated to a 5.1 percent growth rate in November, up from a revised 3.4 percent rate in October. Oil and gas industry fundamentals look healthy, although industry employment declined. Refining and plastics continue to perform well, and overall labor market conditions improved. Houston seems to have bounced back strongly from late summer softness for what’s shaping up to be a strong fourth quarter.

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