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Monthly Update: Houston Metro Employment

April '23, Latest Data
Published on 5/19/23

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Metro Houston created 300 jobs last month, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). That’s among the weakest Aprils on record in a non-recession year. Most sectors saw job growth, albeit nominal, but outsized losses in construction, transportation and warehousing, and other services pulled down overall employment levels.

The losses in construction were unusually large (8,100 jobs). Only once before, in April ’20, did Houston experience greater construction losses (23,600). The most recent cuts reflect the impact of rising interest rates, unease over near-term economic prospects, and emerging concerns about overbuilding in some segments of the local economy.

City of Houston building permits were up 15.1 percent ($276.1) million through March of this year. Dodge Data & Analytics, however, reports contract awards in the nine-county metro area were down 28.2 percent ($3.5 billion) through April of this year.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the region lost 13,500 jobs in April. It should be noted that the pandemic has played havoc with methodologies for seasonally adjusting data, so April’s loss could be a statistical anomaly. Twice in the past three years, July ’20 and February ’21, the seasonal adjustments suggested a weakening economy only for job growth to resume in the following month. The TWC does not provide seasonally adjusted industry-level detail, so it’s unclear where this April’s losses occurred.

As of April, total nonfarm payroll employment stood at 3,332,400, up 3.5 percent (112,600 jobs), over April ’22. And since May ’20, the region has created 499,900 jobs, recouping 139.1 percent of the 359,300 jobs lost in the pandemic.

Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Chief Economist
Senior Vice President, Research

Clara Richardson
Research Associate

Key Economic Indicators Employment

Metro Houston gained 300 jobs in April '23

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