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Economy at a Glance - December 2021

In this issue of Glance, the Partnership provides a summary of the 2022 employment forecast that was released earlier this month.
Published on 12/10/21

THE FORECAST

The Partnership’s forecast calls for Metro Houston to create 75,500 jobs in ’22. Job growth will occur in every sector of the economy, including several that struggled to create jobs prior to the pandemic.

The greatest gains will occur in administrative support; government; health care and social assistance; professional, scientific, and technical services; and restaurants and bars.

Several factors will drive Houston’s growth in ’22: a strong U.S. economy, expanding global trade, energy consumption returning to pre-crisis levels, pent-up consumer demand, local population growth, and the ongoing housing boom. The recovery will continue to face headwinds, however. Elevated inflation, supply chain woes, and worker shortages may temper growth but won’t halt it. 

U.S. GDP GROWTH 

Adjusted for inflation, gross domestic product (GDP) should grow 3.6 percent in ’22, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal in October. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) forecasts U.S. growth at 3.9 percent. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Survey of Professional Forecasters pegs GDP growth at 4.4 percent.

U.S. JOB GROWTH

As of November ’21, the nation had recovered roughly 80 percent of the 22.1 million jobs lost in the early stages of the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the U.S. averaged 200,000 new jobs per month. The consensus of the 47 professional forecasters surveyed in September by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) is for the U.S. to average 321,000 new jobs per month in ’22. According to The Wall Street Journal’s survey, the U.S. should add 350,000 jobs per month in ’22. The Survey of Professional Forecasters calls for 456,300 jobs per month. At even the lower range of forecasts, the U.S. should recoup all its pandemic losses by late ’22 or early ’23.

GLOBAL TRADE

The resurgence of economic activity in the first half of ‘21 lifted global trade above its pre-pandemic peak, according to the World Trade Organization. The WTO predicts global merchandise trade growth of 10.8 percent in ’21—up from 8.0 percent forecasted in March—followed by a 4.7 percent rise in ’22. That’s up from 4.1 percent in an earlier forecast

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Note: The geographic area referred to in this publication as “Houston,” "Houston Area” and “Metro Houston” is the nine-county Census designated metropolitan statistical area of Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX. The nine counties are: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller.

Key December Takeaways

Here are the facts to know about the Houston region this month
1
December Takeaway #1
The Partnership’s forecast calls for Metro Houston to create 75,500 jobs in ’22.
2
December Takeaway #2
Adjusted for inflation, gross domestic product (GDP) should grow 3.6 percent in ’22.
3
December Takeaway #3
As of October ’21, Metro Houston had recouped 269,000 jobs, or roughly 75 percent of the 361,400 jobs lost in the early stages of the pandemic.

Want to learn more? Contact our Research Team:

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
713-844-3616
Elizabeth Balderrama
Manager, Research
713-844-3615

Previous Issues of Economy at a Glance

NOV
2021
Job Gains, Commercial Real Estate & Exports
Read Report
OCT
2021
Inflation, Employment & Global Innovation
Read Report
SEP
2021
Employment, Oil & Gas, Containerized Exports, and Housing
Read Report
AUG
2021
Delta Variant, Rebounding Travel, Economic Growth and Population Gains
Read Report
JUL
2021
Energy Transition, Recovery Bottlenecks, & the Worker Shortage
Read Report
JUN
2021
Economic Recovery, Multifamily, Population & More
Read Report
May
2021
Housing Boom and Robust Recovery
Read Report
APR
2021
Pandemic Recovery, Tech Workforce
Read Report
MAR
2021
Pandemic Employment Data
Read Report
FEB
2021
Coronavirus Impact and 2021 Outlook
Read Report
JAN
2021
Racial Demographics and Population Shifts
Read Report
NOV
2020
U.S. Recovery, 2021 Outlook
Read Report
OCT
2020
U.S. Recovery, Houston Update
Read Report
SEP
2020
COVID-19 Impact on Economy
Read Report
AUG
2020
Energy Change Over Time
Read Report
JUL
2020
COVID-19 Update, Houston Unemployment
Read Report
JUN
2020
COVID-19 Update, Affected Sectors, Energy
Read Report
MAY
2020
U.S. & Texas Outlook, GDP
Read Report
APR
2020
COVID-19 Update, PMI, Industry Outlook
Read Report
MAR
2020
Economic Impact, Global Outlook, Recession Probability
Read Report
FEB
2020
U.S.-China Trade Deal, USMCA
Read Report
JAN
2020
Houston GDP, Energy, Jobs
Read Report
DEC
2019
Sector by Sector Forecast for 2020
Read Report
NOV
2019
Houston Region Demographic Update 2
Read Report
OCT
2019
Houston Region Demographic Update 1
Read Report
SEP
2019
Houston's Growth Engines
Read Report
AUG
2019
PMI, Commercial Real Estate & Housing
Read Report

More Insight & Analysis

Monthly Update: Inflation

Review the latest data on inflation in the Houston area. 

Monthly Update: Employment

Review the latest data on jobs in the Houston region. 

Monthly Update: Purchasing Managers Index

Review the latest data on this key economic indicator. 

Get more in-depth analysis from the Partnership team with a Membership.