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Explore the Region

The 12-county Greater Houston area is one of the largest and most diverse business regions in the nation. Houston's strategic, central location coupled with the infrastructure of four of the country's largest ports, two international airports and major highway and rail service make this a dynamic hub for a large cross-section of industries. The various counties also bring their own characteristics and incentives that attract sectors from advanced manufacturing to biotech. Explore what makes each area of our region unique. 

The 12 Counties of the Greater Houston Region

Austin County
Brazoria County
Chambers County
Fort Bend County
Galveston County
Harris County
Liberty County
Montgomery County
San Jacinto County
Walker County
Waller County
Wharton County

County Spotlight: Austin

Austin County is located on the western edge of the Greater Houston region. The county is located 35 miles west of Houston and Bellville, the county seat, is roughly 50 miles west-northwest of Houston. Austin County covers approximately 656 square miles. State Highway 36 is the major north-south thoroughfare, while State Highway 159, U.S. Highway 90, and Interstate 10 span the county east and west. The county is also served by two major railways: the Union Pacific and the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe. Austin County's 2018 population was 29,989. The retail, manufacturing and education sectors fuel county employment. Austin County is the home of Stephen F. Austin State Park.

29,989

Population

1,088

Businesses

10,105

2018 employment

$49,262

Per capita income

40.9

Median age

Austin County Industries & Notable Employers
Austin County Cities
Austin County Economic Development Organizations
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Related News

Economic Development

Partnership Forecasts Houston Will Create 42,000 Jobs in 2020

12/5/19
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:  Manufacturing: $83.1 billion or 17% of GDP | Current jobs: 241,000 | 2020 forecast: 1,000 jobs gained  Real Estate and Rental and Leasing: $44.4 billion or 9.1% of GDP | Current jobs: 63,400 | 2020 forecast: 1,200 jobs gained  Energy: $44.3 billion or 9% of GDP | Current jobs: 87,400 | 2020 forecast: 4,000 jobs lost  Wholesale Trade: $42 billion or 8.6% of GDP | Current jobs: 172,000 | 2020 forecast: 1,000 jobs gained  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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Houston offers a low cost of living while maintaining an incredibly rich quality of life with the amenities you would expect to find in a world-class city.

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The Partnership's Research team are experts on the region's economy and key demographic trends.

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Susan Davenport
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Economic Development
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sdavenport@houston.org
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713-844-3612
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