Metro Houston reached a milestone in May, with just over 3.1 million workers on
payrolls throughout the region. Since January ’10, the region has added more than
596,100 jobs, more than the current employment for the New Orleans (585,800 jobs) or
Hartford (580,200 jobs) metro areas.
For the 12 months ending May ’18, metro Houston created 79,200 jobs, for a 2.6 percent
increase. That reflects a slight dip from the 85,800 jobs created in the 12 months ending
April ’18. For the month of May, employers added 9,400 jobs, which falls below the nonrecession average of 14,000 jobs in a typical May.
Employment services, construction and manufacturing led job growth in the region over the past 12 months, the three sectors accounting for 45.6 percent of the jobs created.
Employment growth in health care remains weak, the sector adding only 1,000 jobs over
the past year. The same holds true for other services (i.e., personal care and repair)
adding only 200 jobs over the same period.
The surge in drilling activity has helped the blue collar side of the energy industry, with oilfield services, the sector adding 2,400 over the past year. Likewise, the manufacture of fabricated metal products, which includes pipes, valves and flanges, has added 3,500 jobs and oil field equipment 2,600 jobs. However, restructuring continues in energy’s white collar side, with oil and gas extraction cutting 1,500 jobs over the past 12 months.
Houston’s unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in May, unchanged from 4.2 percent in
April and down from 4.8 percent in May ’17. Texas unemployment rate was 3.7 percent
in May, down from 3.8 percent in April and 4.1 percent in May ’17. The U.S. rate was 3.8
percent in May, down from 3.9 percent in April and 4.1 percent in May ’17. The rates
are not seasonally adjusted.