Houston Economic Update
Economic activity in the Houston metropolitan area, as measured by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas business-cycle index, grew at an annualized rate of 7 percent in November, according the Fed’s most recent economic update for the city. This figure was accompanied by an upward revision of the October growth rate from 9.6 to 9.8 percent.
Energy, chemicals and trade have continually allowed the region to outperform the nation and even the state. Despite trouble from Europe and a slowly accelerating national recovery, Houston for the most part left the Great Recession behind in 2011, and its outlook remains positive.
Nonfarm payroll employment grew at an annualized rate of 4 percent in November to 2.63 million jobs. Through November, payroll employment grew 3.1 percent. This brings the number of jobs added since the trough of Houston’s business cycle to 136,000—more than 113 percent of what was lost in the recession. In fact, Houston is the only large metropolitan area to return to its pre-recession level of employment.