Houston job growth slows as manufacturing jobs lost

Houston jobs grew 3.1 percent annualized over the three months ending in July. Construction increased by 6,500 jobs, transportation, wholesaling and utilities by 6,700 jobs, and Leisure and hospitality by 4,900. However the area lost 1,000 manufacturing jobs and education and health jobs fell by 800.

This is according to the latest research from the Federal Reserve of Dallas which publishes data on the Houston-Sugarland-The Woodlands metropolitan area on a monthly basis.

In the year to July 2019, Houston added 76,400 new jobs, slightly higher than the comparable prior year (68,400 jobs). This included 5,600 manufacturing jobs year-on-year. However manufacturing jobs have dropped by 1,579 since March.

First quarter job growth was revised downwards by 15,000 (wonder if the 2nd quarter will also be revised down later?). Through July, that means that Houston employment has grown at an annual pace of 1.9 percent for 2019. That’s slightly below the historical annual growth rate of 2.1 per cent.

The unemployment rate in Houston rose from 3.6 percent in June to 3.8 percent in July. It’s now back above the US national average of 3.7 percent. The rate in Texas is 3.4 percent.

The Bank use 11 indicators to produce a composite Houston leading index. Compared with the quarter ended April 2019, the index has turned negative. All the index components have declined. However the biggest decline was in new orders for manufacturing which went from an annual 9.9 percent growth rate in the three months to April to a 1.3 percent contraction over the three months ending July.

As a result, the Bank expects more moderate growth for the local economy through the end of the year.




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