Jobs in Houston in 2019 grew by 1.6 percent (49,000 jobs). This is according to the latest economic indicators published by the Federal Reserve of Dallas. That rate is actually below the metro’s historical average of 2.1 percent.The main sectors to change were:
- Professional & business services (+21,400)
- Education and health services (+10,800)
- Construction (+8,600)
- Trade transportation and utilities (-1,700)
- Mining – meaning E&P (-1,000)
The Houston unemployment rate dropped slightly to 3.7 percent in December. That’s above the Texas and US rates (both 3.5 percent).
According to NAI Partners, the overall Houston office vacancy rate stood at 21.1 % at the end of December. That is down 0.7 per cent on the previous quarter, but up slightly year-on-year. The market actually absorbed 843,000 sq ft in 2019, the highest yearly figure since 2014. This was overshadowed by the 1.7 million sq ft of new office space coming onto the market. Currently, a further 3.3 million sq ft is under construction (38% spoken for).
Houston’s industrial vacancy rate at the end of December was 6.9% (41 million sq ft) , up 1.5% on a year ago. The rising vacancy rate was also caused by 9.6 million sq ft of new construction completed in 2019.