Definite Signs of a Recovery
The Greater Houston Partnership released its January 2011 Economic Report and with most indicators showing signs of a growing economic recovery.
The 10-county Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Area gained 9,500 jobs during the 12 months ending November ’10 according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). By comparison, TWC reported that Houston had lost 103,500 jobs during the same period in ’09, the worst 12-month job loss of the recession.
Several sectors have posted notable job gains over the past 12 months: health care and social assistance, 8,000 jobs (3.1 percent); durable goods manufacturing, 5,400 jobs (3.9 percent); leisure and hospitality, 4,000 jobs (1.7 percent); food services and drinking places, 3,100 jobs (1.7 percent), oil and gas extraction, 2,600 jobs (5.3 percent); support activities for mining (i.e. oilfield services), 1,400 jobs 3.8 percent). Within durable goods manufacturing, the agriculture, construction, and mining machinery manufacturing (i.e. oilfield equipment), sectors added 1,000 jobs (3.6 percent). On the negative side, there are 2,500 fewer people working in local public education than this time last year, a reflection of the fiscal challenges facing area school districts. Construction employment is also down with a net loss of 3,400 jobs, (-2.0 percent) over the past 12 months.
The Houston Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) stood at 56.3 in November ’10, according to the National Association for Purchasing Management-Houston. In November ’09, the local PMI stood at 51.2 and had only turned positive (i.e. above 50) the month before2. Since turning positive in October ’09, the PMI has been above 50.0 for 14 consecutive months. The bottom for the PMI was in March ’09 when it fell to 39.0.