September jobs data won’t be available till later this month, thanks to the recent federal shutdown. But numbers for the first eight months of the year paint a stark picture. The Texas Workforce Commission says that between January and August, the Houston area added just over 57,000 jobs — down 37% from the same period a year earlier.
Patrick Jankowski is vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership.
“There’s still going to be a lot of pent up demand in the economy. There’s going to be demand for housing. There’s going to be demand for apartments. There’s going to be demand for auto sales and retail sales. But we might start to see some slack in demand for office space. If you look at the size of the lease agreements being signed now, they’re a lot smaller than the lease agreements that were being signed even six months ago.”
Jankowski says falling rig counts, uncertainty over federal government policy and slowing export growth are all acting as headwinds on employment.