The Greater Houston Partnership released its July Economic Report with the most notable highlight being that Houston added jobs for a fourth consecutive month. The Houston Metropolitan Area added 20,200 jobs in May of which 10,800 of those jobs were from the private sector.
Additional highlights from the report:
- The unemployment rate for Houston in May was 8.3% which is down a half of percentage point from the beginning of the year.
- Net new home sales dropped 44% from May 2009 to 879. The number of new homes under construction increased by 422 units from May-09 and 288 units from last month.
- The Houston Purchasing Managers Index rose 50.0 in May. This reading is the best since June-08 and marks 14 consecutive months of improvement.
- The Houston Airport System served 4.2 million passengers in May, up 4.7% from May-09.
Probably the biggest concern besides the threat of a double-dip recession is the impact of the “Offshore Drilling Moratorium” on the Houston economy. Numerous organizations have attempted to forecast the impact on the industry and the Houston economy. The moratorium has affected 18 firms active with deepwater rigs in the Gulf and 16 of those firms have a significant presence in Houston. The consensus opinion is that when drilling resumes, the industry will operate under stricter regulations and closer federal government oversight which will alter the economics of offshore exploration and may reduce the industry’s investment in deepwater drilling.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker recently appeared on Fox Business News discussing how Houston has managed to remain weather the recession.