Texas Service Sector Activity Strengthens
Texas service sector activity increased in January, according to business executives responding to the Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey. The revenue index, a key measure of state service sector conditions, rose from 9.8 to 13.7, with 32 percent of respondents noting revenue increased from December.
Labor market indicators reflect stronger hiring and slightly longer workweeks. The employment index moved up from 8.8 to 12.4, its best reading in 10 months. The hours worked index edged down to 1.6 in January, suggesting hours worked rose more slowly in January.
Perceptions of general business conditions improved markedly in January. The general business activity index jumped to 18.3, its best reading since December 2010. The company outlook index moved up to 16.9 in January, its fifth consecutive month in positive territory, with 26 percent of respondents reporting their outlooks improved from last month.
Office Using Employment Propels Office Market Forward
Professional and Business Services employment in Texas expanded by 1,600 jobs in December and added 53,100 jobs over the year. Having added jobs in nine of the past 12 months, the annual job growth rate for Professional and Business Services in Texas was 4.1 percent.
The Mining and Logging industry which included energy expanded by 40,700 jobs over the year. Large employment gains in Mining and Logging have resulted in this industry’s annual growth rate ranking highest among all of the major industries at 18.7 percent.
Employment in Financial Activities totaled 18,000 jobs added over the year for a 2.9 percent annual job growth rate—the highest for that industry since March 2007.
All four major office markets in Texas posted positive net absorption in 2011 with Houston leading the way.
Major Texas Office Markets (Net Absorption – All Classes)
Source: CoStar Group