Labor statistics for 2013 have finally settled enough to read and the outlook provided by Houston employment numbers is a good one. A Greater Houston Partnership report shows Houston employment remained ahead of the Texas herd by adding 82,000 new jobs to the workforce. Though it’s a deceleration from the year before (Houston added 105,700 new jobs during 2012), the data suggests that economic prosperity will continue to flow forth in the coming year.
New Jobs with More to Come
The 82,000 new jobs that Houston companies added to the workforce during 2013 have kept the metropolitan area a prominent center for economic recovery. Trailing behind Houston are the Dallas Metropolitan Area (which added 67,100 new jobs) and the Austin Metropolitan Area (which added 23,700 new jobs). And in spite of a year-over-year total drop, Houston employment still maintains a 3 percent long term growth rate which outranks the 2.5 percent state average and the 1.6 percent U.S. average.
Take a look at a graph of the total nonfarm payroll employment over the last 10 years and you’ll see a steady resurgence. There was a noticeable drop at the start of the recession but now, the employment total is well on its way to 3 million total jobs. To give a better perspective, Houston only contains 24.6 percent of the state’s total population yet it accounts for 32.1 percent of the total job growth.
Diverse Sectors Share the Wealth
Of the total nonfarm Houston employment numbers, very few sectors saw an overall decrease. Here’s the breakdown.
10,400 new Goods Producing jobs were added to the overall workforce. That’s a 1.9 percent increase from the year before with 3,500 new positions being added to each of the Manufacturing, Mining/Logging, & Construction sectors. Manufacturing & Construction both saw an increase of 1.9 percent but Mining/Logging saw an increase of 3.3 percent, presumably from the heightened pursuit of shale oil through fracking.
The Information and Professional/Business Services sectors both experienced extensive change in growth percentage from the year before. Over 1,400 new jobs were added in the Information sector (which elicited positive growth of 4.4 percent) and 20,100 new jobs were added to the Professional/Business Services sector (which brought about positive growth of 4.9 percent).
The Financial Activities sector was one of the few sectors to actually experience a decrease with an overall loss of 800 jobs and negative growth of .06 percent. In fact, that number would have been lower if the 1,000 new jobs added in the Real Estate sector (1,000 new jobs) didn’t take away from the overall loss of 1,800 jobs.
What 2014 Offers to Bring
Though we ultimately have to wait for the first BLS report to see how 2014 is shaping up, there are already good auspices for employment numbers to increase in 2014. The Greater Houston Partnership just started the second phase of their Opportunity Houston 2.0 program, which aims to attract 450,000 new jobs to the region between 2014 and 2020. The six year program is an aggressive marketing tactic to highlight the low cost of doing business, competitive tax structure, and sizeable talent pool available to help companies thrive in a competitive market.
Additionally, a record number of building permits were issued in 2013 (totaling $6.15 billion), which bodes well for the Construction sector and forecasts the influx of new companies coming to or expanding within the region. However you shake it, 2014 can be truly promising for Houston employment and for those looking to hire or be hired during the New Year.
Whether you’re looking to get one of the 450,000 jobs expected to flood into the job market or you’re trying to have your company stand out from the white noise of the competition, General Employment can offer quality services to you. If you currently live, or are looking to relocate to the Houston area, call one of our recruiters today to find out what jobs are open in your field.
by James Walsh