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Houston Continues Modest Job Growth

Greater Houston adds 9,300 jobs year-over-year.


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In January, Greater Houston lost 49,900 jobs.

That looks like a huge number, but put in perspective, it's not as bad as it seems.

January always sees losses because a lot of the seasonal holiday jobs go away, Parker Harvey, regional economist with Workforce Solutions, said.

Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes downward adjustments to population estimates in the beginning of the year.

"The average, I think, was somewhere around 44,000 over the month, so a little bit higher than we might expect," Harvey said. "But I wasn't terribly alarmed by what I saw there."

In January 2016, Houston lost 40,500 jobs, but year over year, 9,300 more people are employed now than then.

It's noteworthy that oil and gas is the only sector that recorded modest gains, adding 300 jobs in January.

"We're now only down – if you use "only" – only down 8,600 jobs year-over-year," Parker said. "So we've cut those losses in half over the last 12 months or so."

Houston's unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percent from December, and 0.9 percent from a year ago, to 5.8 percent in January.