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Houston Expected to Create 75,000+ Jobs in '22 as Region Works to Regain Pandemic Losses

Published Dec 01, 2021 by A.J. Mistretta

Minute Maid

HOUSTON (December 1,2021) – The Greater Houston Partnership forecasts the Houston region will create 75,500 net new jobs in 2022. As the region’s economic recovery continues, employment gains are expected in every sector, with the greatest increases anticipated in administrative support and waste management; government; health care and social assistance; and professional, scientific and technical services. 

Five factors will support job growth in the region next year: the ongoing U.S. expansion, robust global trade, energy consumption returning to pre-crisis levels, pent-up consumer demand, and local population growth. The dynamics affecting each are broken down in the report. The forecast warns that the recovery will continue to face headwinds, including elevated inflation, supply chain challenges and worker shortages, but these won’t be enough to halt growth. 

As of September 2021, Metro Houston had recouped 245,600 jobs, or roughly 68 percent of the 361,400 lost in the early stages of the pandemic. The sectors most impacted by social distancing are near full recovery. Restaurants and bars have recouped 90.1 percent of their losses, retail 86.5 percent, other services (i.e., personal services), 94.0 percent. However, for the industries that were struggling prior to the pandemic—including energy, manufacturing, construction, and wholesale trade—COVID-19 made their situations worse. Those sectors began to shed jobs before COVID-19 arrived and continued to shed them after the economy reopened. Collectively, these struggling Houston industries account for over half the jobs needed to close the gap and recapture Houston’s pre-pandemic employment peak. Partnership Senior Vice President of Research Patrick Jankowski said the good news is that the outlook for the four sectors has improved in recent months and they’re taking small steps toward recouping their losses. 

“Only eight times in the past 21 years has annual growth exceeded 75,500 jobs, which is our forecast for 2022,” Jankowski said. “Those eight years tend to coincide with rising oil prices or prices at an unsustainably high level. Factor out the booms (and the busts), and metro Houston typically creates 65,000 to 70,000 jobs in a ‘normal’ year. Measured against that, 2022 looks to be one of the better years for job growth in Houston.” 

Metro Houston Jobs Forecast by Sector (December 2021 to December 2022) 

  • Administrative Support/Waste Management: +9,000 jobs 
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services: +8,700 jobs 
  • Health Care and Social Assistance: +8,400 jobs 
  • Restaurants and Bars: +7,200 jobs 
  • Government: +7,100 jobs 
  • Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities: +6,500 jobs 
  • Manufacturing: +5,000 jobs 
  • Energy: +4,000 jobs 
  • Wholesale Trade: +3,000 jobs 
  • Construction: +2,700 jobs 
  • Other Services: +2,100 jobs 
  • Finance and Insurance: +2,100 jobs 
  • Educational Services: +2,000 jobs 
  • Retail Trade: +2,000 jobs 
  • Real Estate and Equipment Rentals: +2,000 jobs 
  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation: +1,600 jobs 
  • Hotels: +1,200 jobs 
  • Information: +700 jobs 

Click here to see the full report, including a sector-by-sector examination of the factors that will prompt growth in the year ahead. 

The mission of the Partnership is to make Houston one of the world’s best places to live, work and build a business. To that end, the Partnership provides this forecast to help the Houston business community and those involved in economic development in the region understand trends influencing the region’s economy and driving industry gains or losses. The forecast is designed to help businesses make better investment, staffing and purchase decisions in the coming year.

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Greater Houston Partnership
The Greater Houston Partnership works to make Houston one of the best places to live, work and build a business. As the principal business organization in the Houston region, the Partnership advances growth across 12 counties by bringing together business and civic-minded leaders who are dedicated to the area’s long-term success. Representing more than 900 member organizations who employ approximately one-fifth of the region’s workforce, the Partnership is the place business leaders come together to make an impact. Learn more at Houston.org.

A.J. Mistretta
Vice President, Communications         
(c) 504-450-3516 | amistretta@houston.org
 

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