Metro Houston created 110,200 jobs, a 3.7 percent increase, in the 12 months ending August ’18. That’s the strongest 12-month pace since January ’15 when the economy, though entering a downturn, had momentum from the four previous years of frenetic growth. The construction sector has added 28,900 jobs over the past 12 months, a 13.5 percent increase. That’s a record for construction job growth, even surpassing the years in which we built 18 million square feet of office space, 20,000 apartment units, and $60 billion in chemical plant construction was underway. Much of the growth is due to Hurricane Harvey repair efforts, and as Houston enters the second year of recovery the construction activity and jobs associated with it will wind down.
The region added 35,000 jobs in professional and business services, over the past 12 months, a 7.2% annual increase. That’s the third highest absolute increase but ranks in the upper quintile for percentage increase over the past 28 years. The sector grew faster at different times in the 90s, albeit on a smaller base.
Of the 35,000 prof/biz services jobs created, administrative and support services accounted for 20,400, a 9.8 percent annual increase. This sector includes janitorial services, security services, landscaping services, and contract employees. Among the subsectors, engineering added 2,600 jobs, a 4.0 percent increase. The growth in engineering reflects the on-going recovery in oil and gas. Today’s report showed oil and gas extraction still losing jobs and oilfield services adding jobs, leading to a net gain of 1,900 for the industry. Trade, transportation, and utilities added 17,300 jobs, a 2.8 percent increase. All subsectors, wholesale, retail, transportation, and utilities contributed to job growth for the sector.
Source: Texas Workforce Commission
Patrick Jankowski, CCR
Senior Vice President, Research