Strong Job Creation Period after Harvey Doesn’t Tell Whole Story for Houston Economy

A monthly jobs report credits Houston with nearly 130,000 new jobs in the past year, the third most on record.

Photo of downtown Houston skyline
Houston skyline from south

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, Greater Houston created 128,700 jobs from September 2017 to last month.

That would mean the third most jobs in a 12-month period on record.

If that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it probably is.

Patrick Jankowski, regional economist with the Greater Houston Partnership, said the numbers are misleading because of the aftermath of Harvey a year ago.

“There was hiring which should have taken place in September of last year,” he said. “That hiring didn’t take place because of the hurricane; that hiring was pulled into October and November. And so part of what we’re seeing is what should have taken place last year having been pulled forward and that’s what’s kind of inflating these numbers.”

Jankowski said we’ll get a better idea about the current job market when the November numbers come out.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate keeps falling in both Houston and Texas.

Houston’s rate went down by 0.2 point from the previous month to 4.1 percent.

For Texas, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.8 percent is the lowest in four decades.

The state has now had 27 consecutive months of job growth.