Building Contracts Up More than 30% from November 2011

Building contracts for the 10-county Houston metro area grew by nearly a third in the twelve months ending in November 2012. Residential construction accounted for the lion's share of building activity, although commercial construction grew at a faster pace.

Patrick Jankowski is vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership.

"Construction's always one of the very last sectors to recover from a recession, and that's what we're seeing right now. It's not only recovering. It's recovering real strongly, and that's great for everybody."

Jankowski says the activity reflects the construction of new chemical plants, refineries, and office buildings, as well as the sharp fall in housing inventory. The Partnership forecasts all this will drive the creation of more than 16,000 new construction jobs in the Houston area in 2013.

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