Business

Cuts To Oil & Gas Investment Dampened Job Growth In 2013

Houston's job growth led the state in 2013, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. But the pace at which the region added jobs fell sharply in the second half of the year.

Greater Houston added roughly 52,000 jobs between January and May of last year. But from June through December, the metro area gained only 30,000 jobs.

Bill Gilmer heads the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business. He says much of the slowdown comes from lower investment in exploration and production by the upstream oil and gas industry.

“With the collapse in natural gas prices in late 2011, we have seen a big slowdown in those expenditures and in local hiring. And I think that’s a big factor in pulling the job growth here down from 4% early in the year down to about 2% over the last six or seven months here. So there’s reason to be a little bit cautious about going forward, although I think the outlook here still remains very strong.”

Oil and gas extraction added a net 3,000 jobs in Houston over the course of 2013. The only sectors that lost jobs were financial activities and other services.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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