Houston Employment Economic Update via Greater Houston Parntership

The Partnership sends updates for the six most important economic indicators each month. If you would like to opt-in to receive these updates, please click here. August 19, 2016


Metro Houston lost 8,600 jobs in July, according to data released today by the Texas Workforce Commission. Houston always experiences significant job losses mid-year as educators on 10-month contracts are without work during the summer. This year’s loss fell well below the typical loss of 15,000 jobs for the month. July’s job losses will likely be recouped when school resumes in the fall.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the region has added jobs in three of the past four months, adding 3,700 in July. Seasonally adjusted employment is only 5,700 jobs below Houston’s January ’16 peak.

Of note, the mining and logging sector, which has averaged losses of 1,500 jobs per month since January ’15, lost only 300 jobs in July. From early June to mid-July, crude prices averaged $48 per barrel. Over the same period, the U.S. drilling fleet added 54 rigs. Those two trends suggest the energy industry may have seen the worst of the downturn. As a result, energy-related job losses have begun to moderate.
Sectors recording notable growth in July were professional and business services (+5,100 jobs), construction (+2,100), and trade, transportation and utilities (+1,500). Sectors recording notable job losses included local government education services (-14,400) and health care (-1,200).

Houston’s unemployment rate increased from 4.8 percent in May to 5.8 percent in July. Both the Texas and U.S. unemployment rates are 5.1 percent. Houston’s rate should start to decline again in August as local educators return to the classroom.

A more detailed look at employment will appear in the September issue of The Economy at a Glance.

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