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Monthly Report Shows Strong Job Growth For Houston But The Numbers May Be Too Good To Be True

A regional economist says economic indicators point to less job growth than Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers suggest.

Aerial view of Toyota Center and downtown Houston.

The Texas Workforce Commission’s monthly report puts Houston area job growth at 93,600 net jobs over the past year, with some of the strongest growth in oil & gas and construction, as well as professional services.

But regional economist Patrick Jankowski, with the Greater Houston Partnership, is skeptical of the numbers.

“When you look at the other indicators, when you look at things like the purchasing managers index or trade or construction or retail sales or sales tax collections, none of them are supporting as robust growth as we’d see at 90,000 to 100,000 jobs,” he said.

The numbers used by the Texas Workforce Commission are based on surveys and Jankowski expects the actual growth to be less than 70,000 jobs when the commission revises its numbers next spring.

But that’s still very strong growth for Houston, Jankowski said.

“You have to remember that in ’15 and ’16 we lost jobs and we came out slowly in ’17, ’18 was pretty good, and this is another good year,” he said. “Any year where we create 60,000 or more jobs is a strong year and I’m sure we’re going to create that many jobs at least this year.”

Earlier this year, the TWC revised its previous estimate of job growth in 2018 down to 73,000 from 108,000.

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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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