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2017 Job Growth Turns Out Stronger Than Expected, Thanks To Harvey

Construction, retail and restaurant jobs saw their best quarter on record after the storm

Greater Houston added nearly 63,000 jobs in 2017, according to newly released data revisions by the Texas Workforce Commission.

That's substantially more than the previous estimate of 46,000, and more than double what the Greater Houston Partnership forecast for the year.

Patrick Jankowski, regional economist with the GHP, said this can be attributed to job growth after Hurricane Harvey.

"When everybody came back to work, there were things that needed to be repaired, things that needed to be purchased and replaced, and people were tired of sitting at home and they wanted to entertain themselves a little bit," he said. "So we saw job growth in the fourth quarter in construction and in retail and in restaurants."

Jankowski said the fourth quarter of 2017 was the strongest on record for these sectors.

One concerning number is the 1,400 job losses in healthcare, he said. The GHP had forecast healthcare to be the biggest job creator in 2017.

Jankowski blames the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act and rising costs for healthcare providers.

The TWC revisions also revealed that the region lost jobs in both 2015 and 2016.


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