2017 Houston Economic Outlook Summary
March 28, 2017
Senior Vice President of Research, Greater Houston Partnership
Below are five highlights from the SIOR luncheon and forecast presentation:
1) Per the U.S. Census Bureau, the nine-county Houston metro area reported 125,005 new residents from July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016, and Houston ranks fifth in the 10 most populous metro areas in the country as of July 1, 2016.
2) Indicators that the worst is now in the rearview mirror include:
- The Houston Purchasing Managers Index, a leading indicator for the economy, came in at 54.2 in February, signaling economic expansion in metro Houston for the fifth consecutive month.
- The closely tracked Baker Hughes U.S. Rig Count—an indicator of the health of the oil and gas industry as well as a checkpoint into Houston employment growth—is at 809 rigs, over double from its low of 404 rigs reached in May 2016.
- The NYMEX WTI Spot Prices closed on March 24, 2017 at $47.97/barrel.
3) The top job growth is expected to come from:
- Healthcare, which was 10.4% of total employment in the Houston metro in 2015
- Hotels, Restaurants and Bars, a segment that recorded 10,627 jobs as of Q2 2016
- Government, mainly led by colleges and school districts, which is expected to bring in about 6,200 jobs this year.
4) Three sectors forecasted to cut jobs in 2017:
5) We can expect one more soft year in 2017, and by 2018 we will be off the bottom. The jobs forecast is encouraging with the hopes of adding as many as 30,000 new jobs this year. “And if you are in the mindset of shooting for the stars, think sixes: $60/barrel oil, 60,000 jobs and 60,000 relocations,” Jankowski concluded.