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Partnership Forecasts Houston Will Create 42,000 Jobs in 2020

Published Dec 05, 2019 by A.J. Mistretta

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HOUSTON (Dec. 5, 2019) – The Greater Houston Partnership forecasts the Houston metro area will create 42,300 net new jobs in 2020. The health care, government, accommodation & food services and construction sectors are expected to lead employment growth, though losses are anticipated in energy and retail trade. 

A downturn that’s already begun in the energy industry is thwarting the broader Houston jobs outlook. Investment in that sector is drying up, resulting in fewer wells being drilled, a drop in the rig count and a decline in new equipment orders. Layoffs have already begun in energy services, with more expected to follow across the industry. Meanwhile, sectors tied to population growth, such as health care, and others linked to the global economy, such as manufacturing and trade, will help ensure Houston stays in positive jobs territory in 2020.

“As Houston prepares to enter the 2020s, the region needs a new set of growth engines. Perhaps they will emerge from the Texas Medical Center, the Innovation Corridor, or Houston’s Energy Corridor,” said Patrick Jankowski, Senior Vice President of Research at the Partnership. “Until those new engines emerge, Houston’s growth will depend heavily on the U.S. and global economies. Fortunately, both should perform reasonably well next year.” 

This year’s Employment Forecast includes a sector-by-sector look at Houston’s major industries, including their contribution to the region’s GDP, current employment and the forecasted change in jobs in 2020. 

The top five industries by percentage of GDP are: 

  1. Manufacturing: $83.1 billion or 17% of GDP | Current jobs: 241,000 | 2020 forecast: 1,000 jobs gained 
  2. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing: $44.4 billion or 9.1% of GDP | Current jobs: 63,400 | 2020 forecast: 1,200 jobs gained 
  3. Energy: $44.3 billion or 9% of GDP | Current jobs: 87,400 | 2020 forecast: 4,000 jobs lost 
  4. Wholesale Trade: $42 billion or 8.6% of GDP | Current jobs: 172,000 | 2020 forecast: 1,000 jobs gained 
  5. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services: $39.5 billion or 8.1% of GDP | Current jobs: 252,900 | 2020 forecast: 4,700 jobs gained 

Jankowski said an oversaturated real estate market and a bleak outlook for oil and gas paint a current picture similar to what Houston faced after the 1980s oil bust. But he said it’s important to remember that since that downturn, the region has added 3.4 million residents and 1.5 million jobs, making the economy far more resilient. As of October 2019, Houston’s employment stood at 3.2 million, a record high for the region. 

Click here to see the full report, including additional jobs figures by industry. For a look back at the economy in 2019 by industry, click here for the Houston Economic Highlights report.

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.

CONTACT:    

A.J. Mistretta                    Maggie Martin 
(o) 713-844-3664             (o) 713-844-3640
amistretta@houston.org  mmartin@houston.org 
 

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