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Monthly Update: Employment

November '19
Published on 12/20/19
Monthly Update: Employment

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Metro Houston created 85,500 jobs, a 2.7 percent increase, in the 12 months ending November ’19, according to data released today by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The level of reported job growth is not supported by other economic indicators.

  • The Houston Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a short-term leading indicator for regional economic activity, registered 46.9 in November. Readings below 50 signal contraction in the economy. 
  • Since November of last year, the energy industry has idled nearly 270 rigs.
  • Over the past 12 months, sales tax collections, an indicator of overall economic activity, are barely above last year’s pace for most cities in the area.
  • Year-to-date, new vehicle sales in the region continue to fall and are down 3.4 percent relative to last year.
  • Houston’s exports through October ’19 are up 5.3 percent, but this time last year, they were up 29.7 percent.

As noted on page 21 of the Partnership’s employment forecast, TWC often overestimates job growth. This time last year, TWC reported metro Houston added 114,400 jobs (Nov ’17 – Nov ’18), only to revise that to 78,600 jobs when it issued its benchmark revisions four months later. Assuming TWC’s current estimates are overstated by a comparable amount, the region has likely added 50,000 to 60,000 jobs in the 12 months ending November ’19, and most of those gains occurred earlier in the year.



Houston's unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in November, up from 3.5 percent in October but down from 3.8 percent in November of last year. The Texas rate in November was 3.3 percent. The U.S. rate was also 3.3 percent. The rates are not seasonally adjusted. 

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research

Employment Key Economic Indicators
85,500 jobs

Metro Houston created 85,500 jobs since November '18

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