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Monthly Update: Houston Metro Employment

August '22, Latest Data
Published on 9/16/22

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Metro Houston added 5,400 jobs in August ’22, according to data released today by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). This falls below expectations for the month. In a normal year, the region creates 7,000 to 10,000 jobs in August. In a boom year, which has been the case up to this point, the region creates 10,000 to 18,000 jobs. It’s too soon to determine whether the August report is the first sign of an economic slowdown.  

A Few Items of Note

  • Restaurants and bars added 7,500 jobs in August. The sector normally creates 800 to 1,200 jobs in the month. August’s job growth is likely an anomaly that will be revised downward in future reports.
  • Administrative and support services added 5,500 jobs. Employers are relying on contractors to meet their workforce needs in the current tight labor market.
  • Durable goods manufacturing added 1,500 jobs in August and 7,700 since the first of the year. It’s not clear from the available data in which sub sectors those jobs were created. Manufacturing overall remains well below pre-pandemic employment levels.
  • Real estate/equipment rentals added 800 jobs in August bringing employment to 100 jobs shy of where it stood in February ’20. In a sector with over 64,000 jobs, this is essentially a rounding error. The sector should be considered as fully recovered.
  • Employment in hotels, information, and other services—all laggards in the COVID recovery— was flat in August. The energy sector, also a laggard, shed 700 jobs.

Fourteen of the 19 major sectors tracked by TWC have fully recovered their pandemic losses. Information, hotels, and personal services should recover by the end of the year. The path to full recovery for energy and manufacturing remains uncertain, especially as U.S. economic growth has begun to slow.

With today’s report, nonfarm payroll employment in Houston now tops 3,273,100, well above the previous peak of 3,207,900 reached in November ’19.

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Research
713-844-3616
pjankowski@houston.org

Clara Richardson
Research Associate
crichardson@houston.org

Employment Key Economic Indicators
5,400

Metro Houston added 5,400 jobs in August ’22

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