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Houston’s Economy Booming As US Economy Shows Signs Of Weakness

But slowing national GDP growth could negatively affect Houston down the road.

Gail Delaughter/Houston Public Media
Aerial view of downtown Houston.


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Houston saw some of the nation's sharpest declines in unemployment in May, slipping 0.9% to 3.2%. On top of that, Houston added nearly 80,000 jobs year-over-year, also among the largest growth in the country.

Nationwide, job growth bounced back last month from a weak May, creating 224,000 jobs, but unemployment edged up slightly to 3.7%.

Except for the oil downturn in 2015 and 2016, Houston has outpaced the U.S. economy in recent times, said Jesse Thompson, senior business economist at the Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

"The shale revolution, the shale drilling, shale oil, and the growth in the production of natural gas and other hydrocarbons from the mining sector has been, for the most part, good for the city of Houston since the Great Recession," he said.

But Houston's job growth could slow down, Thompson said, if oil prices fall again and national GDP growth drags to a little over 2%, which economists currently forecast.

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