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Construction Industry Expected To Be Drag On Houston Economy In 2017

The latest construction report for Houston shows a continuing trend of decline for the industry.


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Photo of building construction site
Through November, developers started more than $14 billion worth of buildings in 2016 – a 15 percent drop from the previous year.

In its monthly report, construction research company Dodge Data & Analytics finds developers in Greater Houston started $766.7 million worth of new buildings in November.

That's a sharp decline of 40 percent from the same month a year earlier.

The biggest drop – 74 percent – comes in nonresidential construction.

"We have enough office space, the boom (in) petrochemical plant construction is winding down, and industrial space is responding to the market," said Patrick Jankowski, regional economist with the Greater Houston Partnership.

He expects the decline to continue throughout this year and probably into 2018.

Of course, this will have an effect on jobs and the Greater Houston Partnership forecasts 16,000 job losses in the construction industry this year.

"If it wasn't for the losses that we're going to see in construction this year, job growth in Houston would be fairly healthy," Patrick said. "But what we're going to see is the construction industry actually being a drag on Houston's economy in 2017."

Overall, the Partnership forecasts the Houston area will create 29,700 net jobs this year.


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