Economy at a Glance – Houston (The October 2019 Publication of the Greater Houston Partnership).

HOUSTON (Greater Houston Partnership) – October 10, 2019 -Metro Houston added nearly 1.3 million residents between ’08 and ’18, a 22.3 percent increase. A little more than half the growth came from migration, a bit less than half from natural increase.

  • Metro Houston created 81,900 jobs, a 2.7 percent increase, in the 12 months ending August ’19, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Nonfarm payroll employment was 3,166,900 in August, flat from July, and down from 3,185,200 in June. The drop reflects the temporary loss of jobs associated with education.
  • Sectors adding the most jobs over the past 12 months were professional, scientific, and technical services (21,100); manufacturing (11,500); other services (9,700); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (8,600); and health care and social assistance (8,200).
  • Employment in oil field services peaked in May and has declined steadily since. This is not surprising given the loss of more than 200 working rigs since the first of the year. The jobs gained in manufacturing are likely an overestimate given that three-fourths of the gains have been in equipment manufacturing and fabricated metals, sectors closely tied to upstream energy.
  • Houston’s unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in August, down from 4.0 percent in July and 4.4 percent in August of last year. The Texas rate in August was 3.6 percent; the U.S. rate, 3.8 percent. The rates are not seasonally adjusted.
  • City of Houston building permits totaled $7.2 billion for the 12 months ending August ’19, up 16.3 percent from $6.2 billion for the same period a year earlier. Commercial permit values rose 31.8 percent to $4.4 billion, while residential permit values decreased 1.8 percent to $2.8 billion.
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  • The closing spot price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. benchmark for light, sweet crude, averaged $56.67 per barrel in September, down 18.7 percent from $70.15 for September last year.
  • From Economy at a Glance – Houston (The October publication of the Greater Houston Partnership).