Economic Overview – August 2022

The first half of 2022 was the strongest ever opening for the Houston economy. Job growth soared. Unemployment has fallen. Houston’s civilian workforce has increased significantly. Exports set records. Container traffic spiked. Crude oil hits $100 a barrel. Rig counts are approaching pre-pandemic levels. The broker also leased a record amount of industrial/warehouse space.

Only a few sectors struggled. Higher interest rates and higher prices have reduced home sales. Double-digit inflation weighed on private consumption. The apartment market has started to soften. Also, little progress has been made in reducing excess office space.

Still, the positives far outweighed the negatives. Houston enters the second half of ’22 with considerable momentum. The area should grow by the end of this year and into next year. Below is an economic assessment of the partnership midyear.

Non-Farm Salary Employment

Metro Houston created 84,600 jobs in the first half of 2022. It was the best start on record for the region, and was the first in his 80s, when domestic rig counts exceeded his 4,500, and his early 10s, when the Eagle-Ford shale boom lifted Houston out of the Great Recession. Better than any year.

Overall, Houston has restored all the jobs lost to the pandemic. Employment in the non-agricultural sector He surpassed 3.2 million in June 2020. This surpasses the previous employment record set in November 2019 by 75,500 for him.

However, recovery is uneven. 11 sectors have fully recovered their losses due to the pandemic. Administrative assistance (37,300). Arts, entertainment and recreation (23,700). Education services (12,900); Finance and insurance (6,200); Government (8,600); Healthcare (47,900); Professional, scientific and technical services (16,300); and warehousing (20,300); and wholesale trade (12,300).

At the current pace of growth, there are some sectors that will recover the rest of their losses within the next month or so (needs jobs in brackets). Information (700); Hotels (2,300); Other Services (3,400); and Construction (5,700).

Only two sectors are still struggling: manufacturing (9,100 jobs) and energy (9,400 jobs). The bulk of the manufacturing jobs that have yet to be taken back are in the oil field equipment manufacturing industry. They won’t return unless drilling activity increases significantly. As of mid-August, U.S. rig counts have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Energy companies reported record profits in the second quarter of 2022, but are reluctant to significantly expand their workforce. Instead, they’re buying back stock, paying dividends, funding alternative energy efforts, and slightly increasing their exploration program.

private labor force

Metro Houston added more than 60,000 workers to its workforce in the first half of this year and nearly 100,000 in the last 12 months. Houstonians who dropped out during the pandemic have re-entered the job market. The economy is also benefiting from a surge in new residents to the region. In June 2022, the workforce reached 3,521,124, a record high for the region.

Labor force estimates are obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS) based on household surveys. Salary data comes from the Current Employment Series (CES) based on employer surveys. The two studies tend to agree on the direction of job growth, but often disagree on size. Data from her latest CPS suggests Houston has only added her 56,680 jobs so far this year, well below CES estimates and having the second-best year on record. I’m here. 2010 was the best start when the region created more than 96,000 jobs for her, according to CPS.

Initial billing

Initial claims for unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs in the region, trended downward through late spring before gradually increasing from April. However, they are well below the pandemic peak and only slightly above pre-pandemic levels.

Most recent layoff announcements have been at the national level rather than in response to a local recession. Layoffs are focused on the technology sector and digital currency trading platforms rather than a slowdown in the national economy. Few layoffs affect Houston.

Continuous billing

In the Gulf region, 22,122 applications for unemployment benefits continued to be filed in the second week of June. This is up from his 20,221 in May, but an improvement from his 43,092 in June last year. This decline shows that those who lost their jobs had little trouble finding new ones. Recurring billing peaked at 276,116 in June 2020.

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Note: The geographic areas referred to in this publication as “Houston,” “Houston Area,” and “Metro Houston” are nine county Census-designated metropolitan statistical areas of Houston – The Woodlands – Sugar Land, Texas. The nine counties are: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Waller.

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