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Monthly Update: Houston Metro Employment

July '23, Latest Data
Published on 8/18/23

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Metro Houston lost 16,100 jobs in July, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The region always sheds workers in the month as the schools are closed for the summer and teacher contracts expire. Prior to the pandemic, losses for July ranged from 5,400 to 33,100, with 17,800 being the average.

This year’s education-related losses (24,400 jobs) were a bit excessive. The average loss over the past 10 years had been 16,600 jobs. July’s education losses were partially offset by a gain of 6,500 private sector jobs:

  • Health care continued to expand, the industry benefitting from Houston’s steady population growth.
  • Construction fared well. The City of Houston reports permit activity is up year to date and Dodge Data reports an uptick in construction contract awards over the past three months.
  • Although the July Houston Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) indicated local manufacturing is struggling, local employers continued to hire.  
  • Finance and insurance, real estate/equipment leasing, retail, and wholesale trade continue to track the region’s overall growth.

The loss of jobs in administrative support services (i.e., contract workers) is a concern. The sector serves as a bellwether for future trends and may be signaling slower economic growth ahead.

Since the economy reopened in May ’20, the region has added 514,900 jobs, recovering 143.3 percent of the 359,300 jobs lost early in the pandemic. July’s education losses should be recouped by September. Unless the region is in a recession, overall growth typically accelerates in October and November. If those patterns hold, local employment should top 3.4 million by the end of the year.

Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Chief Economist
Senior Vice President, Research

Clara Richardson
Research Associate

Employment Key Economic Indicators

Metro Houston lost 16,100 jobs in July '23

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