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Employment Update FROM GHP Research


BY Alex Wang [ August 19, 2012 at 08:20:43 ]

Employment Update
FROM: GHP Research
August 17, 2012

The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Area added 83,700 net new jobs, a 3.2 percent annual increase, in the 12 months ending July ’12, according to data released today by the Texas Workforce Commission. The private sector added 91,800, a 4.1 percent annual increase, during the same time frame.

Houston continues to drive the state’s economy. The 10-county Houston region, with 23.7 percent of the state’s population, accounted for 36.9 percent of the state’s total job growth and 35.3 percent of the state’s private sector job growth over the past 12 months.

Changes in Nonfarm Payroll Employment – Houston and Texas

For the 12 Months Ending July ’12
Jobs Created
Yearly % Change

Total Employment
State of Texas
226,800
2.2%

Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown
83,700
3.2%

Private Sector Employment

State of Texas
260,400
3.0%

Houston Sugar Land Baytown
91,800
4.1%

Source: Texas Workforce Commission

The job growth is equally impressive when placed in a national perspective. The 10-county Houston region, with 2.0 percent of the nation’s population, accounted for 4.6 percent of the nation’s total job growth and 4.7 percent of the nation’s private sector job growth over the past 12 months.

Changes in Nonfarm Payroll Employment – Houston and the U.S.

For the 12 Months Ending July ’12

Jobs Created
Yearly % Change
Total Employment

United States
1,830,000
1.4%

Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown
83,700
3.2%

Private Sector Employment

United States
1,941,000
1.8%

Houston Sugar Land Baytown
91,800
4.1%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Three factors continue to drive Houston’s job growth—energy, international trade and population growth.

Oil Prices

The weekly spot price for West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark for U.S. light sweet crude, averaged $94.38 over the past 12 months and has fallen below $80 only once during that time. Similarly, the number of drilling rigs working in North America averaged 1,981 over the past year and has not fallen below 1,900 during that time. As a result, sectors with some of the fastest growth rates over the past 12 months were energy and energy related. Fabricated metal product manufacturing (structural steel, oil field pipe, boilers, and machine shops) added 5,100 jobs, a 10.2 percent annual rate. Machinery manufacturing, primarily oil field equipment, added 3,700 jobs, a 7.8 percent annual growth rate. Mining and logging, in Houston primarily oil and gas extraction, added 7,800 jobs, an 8.7 percent annual growth rate.

International Trade

Total trade through the Houston-Galveston Customs District is up 8.6 percent through June of this year compared to June of last year, from $129.7 billion in ’11 to $140.8 in ’12. Imports are up 8.5 percent, from $72.3 billion to $78.5 billion, and exports are up 8.7 percent to date, from $57.3 billion to $62.2 billion over same time period. Houston manufacturers are exporting more refined products, industrial equipment, chemicals and plastics which support manufacturing employment growth. The area’s various ports are also handling more imports of crude, steel and electrical equipment than last year. This increased activity has helped created 6,000 jobs, a 4.9 percent annual growth rate, in the transportation, warehousing, and utilities sector over the past 12 months.

Population Growth

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the 10-county region continues to add approximately 110,000 residents a year, 65,000 through the natural increase (excess births over deaths) and 45,000 through net in-migration (more people moving in than moving out of the region). This drives the demand for consumer-related services and thus employment in those sectors. The three adding the most jobs since July ’11 were health care and social assistance (17,800 jobs, 6.5 percent annual rate), accommodation and food services, primarily food services (15,300 jobs, 6.9 percent annual rate, and retail trade (12,300 jobs, 4.6 percent annual rate).

Houston's July unemployment rate was 7.5 percent, down from 8.6 percent in July ’11. Texas' unemployment rate was 7.5 percent, decreasing from 8.5 percent the past July. The U.S. rate was 8.6 percent, a drop from 9.3 percent past July. (The rates are not seasonally adjusted).

Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research Department

Patrick Jankowski, CCR
Vice President, Research
pjankowski@houston.org
713-844-3616

Jenny Philip
Manager, Economic Research
713-844-3615
jphilip@houston.org

Pooja Patel
Research Analyst
713-844-3654
ppatel@houston.org

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