Houston sees record job growth despite economic uncertainty

Data: Texas Labor Commission.Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Houston posted record job growth in the first half of this year, surpassing even those seen during the oil booms of the early 1980s and 2010s.

Important reasons: There’s been a lot of talk and fear about an impending recession.Inflation and rising interest rates are very real, but job numbers show Houston’s local economy is still growing.Patrick Jankowski, Research Senior Vice President, Greater Houston Partnership.

Yes, but: Other economic indicators point to slowing growth, Jankowski said.

detail: Houston created 85,000 jobs in the first half of this year.

  • Most sectors, including restaurants, art, finance and healthcare, have reached or exceeded their pre-pandemic employment numbers.
  • The energy, manufacturing, hotel, real estate and construction industries are still catching up.

Quick take: Houston is recovering despite struggles in the energy sector, suggesting the city is less dependent on oil and gas than it once was.

Line spacing: Some of the job growth can be attributed to the pandemic recovery. But Jankowski said the job growth also reflects how Houston’s exports are growing, its warehouses and distribution centers are expanding, and people are still moving to the city. .

  • “When people come here, they either need a house or an apartment, or they need to buy groceries or furniture,” Jankowski said. That’s one reason why the workforce has expanded while many other metros haven’t benefited from it.”

note: Most of the recent mass layoffs have been at the national level, concentrated in the tech and digital currency sectors. Jankowski said these job cuts are not a sign of a local slowdown, and few will affect Houston.

What we see: Growth has slowed, but should continue for the foreseeable future.

  • “We have enough momentum to get us through the end of the year,” Jankowski said. “There is no danger of thinking there will be a recession in 2022. As for 2023, it is less clear.”

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