"Houston Region Economic Outlook and 2017 Job Forecast"
DECEMBER 12, 2016
Senior Vice President of Research, Greater Houston Partnership
Listed below are highlights from the luncheon and forecast presentation:
- From December 2014 to October 2016, Houston's energy industry lost -65,900 jobs.
- Houston metro gross domestic product down from $522 billion in 2014 to $503 billion in 2015.
- Recovery from downturn in oil industry has begun; the worst is over.
- Major indicators show that economy is turning around, including WTI, rig counts, and among others purchasing managers index.
- The recovery will take on the shape of a bathtub, a long bottom and then a quick rebound with rapid growth.
- All sectors will gain jobs in 2017, but the following three:
- energy: -3,500 lost jobs (energy needs to see $60 oil for hiring to begin)
- construction: -16,000 lost jobs
- information: -200 lost jobs
- In total, Houston is forecasted to gain +29,700 new jobs in 2017, including 9,800 from health care; 8,700 from hotels, bars, restaurants; 6,200 from government; 4,900 from administrative support; 4,500 from retail; and among others 3,000 from manufacturing.
- Houston's economy continues to grow alongside its population growth of about 120,000, half of which comes from the immigration of new people into Houston.
- Dr. Thomas Swift, Chief Economist of American Chemistry Council, also highlighted that the expansion of the national economy, while in its 8th inning, is likely to go into extra innings.
- Dr. Swift explained that four factors are major indicators of economic expansion or recession: real personal income, less transfer payments, real business sales, industrial production, and non-farm payroll; of these four indicators, only industrial production is declining, all others are growing.