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As Year Comes To End, Houston Employment Slowly Getting Back On Track

The latest jobs report confirms Greater Houston’s slow but steady recovery.

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Greater Houston has added 16,100 jobs since November 2015.

Greater Houston added 5,700 net jobs in November, including 800 in the oil and gas industry, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Patrick Jankowski, regional economist with the Greater Houston Partnership, said that's still a weak job report but the trend is in the right direction.

"May was actually the worst month for employment in Houston. That's when we had the lowest 12-month total," he said. "But since then, we've had fairly steady growth, and we've created in the last 12 months about 16,000 jobs and that's a good number to see."

That pales compared to the 120,000 jobs the region created in 2014, but Jankowski doesn't expect to see another year like that ever again.

It was in late 2014 when the price of oil fell dramatically, which triggered Houston's economic downturn.

He said the worst is now definitely over.

"If you want to look at the bottom of the economy for Houston, that would have been in the second quarter of this year," he said. "That's when we saw the rig count at its lowest, that's when we saw the 12-month numbers for employment at its lowest, that's when we saw just general weakness in the economy."

Looking ahead, Jankowski forecasts continued growth in 2017, although he expects it to still be a weak year for Greater Houston.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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