Houston Economic Update – June 2012
The Greater Houston Partnership released its latest economic update for Houston and the indicators reveal the city’s job growth is fueling a significant uptick in real estate and construction activity.
During the 12 months ending April ’12, the City of Houston permitted more than $4.1 billion in construction projects, a 30.2 percent increase over the $3.2 billion permitted during the 12 months ending April ’11. This figure doesn’t even include the massive Exxon-Mobil campus and several additional office projects under construction in The Woodlands just outside Houston.
Houston Leads the State in Job Growth
The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Area added 81,200 net new jobs, a 3.1 percent annual increase, in the 12 months ending April ’12, according to TWC. Houston led the state in job growth for the third consecutive month. Over the past 12 months, the Dallas-Ft. Worth MSA added 52,000 jobs, the Austin MSA grew by 19,200 jobs, and the San Antonio MSA increased their job count by
Houston’s job growth continues to outpace the other major metros. During the 12 months ending April ’12, the New York metro grew by 1.4 percent, Los Angeles by 0.9 percent, and Chicago by 0.7 percent. Houston and Washington, D.C. remain the only major metro areas to have recovered all jobs lost during the recession. Houston regained all of its jobs by October ’11; Washington D.C. recouped its lost jobs by January ’12.
The three fastest growing sectors since April ’11 were mining and logging (9,200 jobs, 10.7 percent annual rate), employment services (8,500 jobs, 13.0 percent annual rate), and ambulatory health care (15,200 jobs, 12.0 percent annual rate.) Mining and logging, in Houston primarily oil exploration, is benefitting from sustained high oil prices and the opportunities in the nearby Eagle Ford Shale.