Houston Economic Update – April 2013
The Houston metro area continues to set the pace for job growth in the nation, recording a 4.5 percent increase in employment from February ’12 to February ’13, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s three times the pace of job growth for the nation as a whole and faster than any other major metro.
BLS reports employment data for 372 metro areas. Only 10 other metros reported faster growth than Houston, but they were all significantly smaller. Provo, UT, the most populous of the 10, reported job growth of 5.4 percent, which translates to 10,100 jobs over the past year, or about as many as Houston created in an average month.
Houston added 118,700 net jobs during the 12 months ending February ’12. Only the Los Angeles metro, with twice the population of Houston, created more. Los Angeles, however, remains 325,000 jobs below its pre-recession peak. At its current pace, Los Angeles won’t recoup all the jobs it lost in the recession until the fall of ’15. Houston returned to its previous peak in the fall of ’11.
Since January ’10, the month the recession ended here, Houston has created 276,900 new jobs, 180.9 percent of what the region lost. At the current pace of growth, Houston area employment will top 2.8 million before the end of the year.