The Greater Houston area is projected to create 71,000 jobs in 2019, according to the Greater Houston Partnership’s annual Houston Employment Forecast released Dec. 5. Once again health care is expected to be the top job-producing sector in the metro, with 9,000 projected new jobs to be created compared to the 8,000 jobs projected in 2018. Assuming population growth, the Houston region has about 100,000 births annually, according to the GHP. This, combined with Houston’s senior population increasing by 30,000 each year, is expected to create continued demand for health care in the region.
However, construction jobs are expected to make the largest gain over last year. In 2018 the construction industry was projected to lose 4,500 jobs. This year it is the second-largest growing sector and is projected to see 8,900 new jobs as construction activity picks up. According to the report, projects including the passage of Harris County’s $2.5 billion bond for flood projects, Texas Central’s high-speed rail, and multibillion plants to be built in Channelview and Baytown could account for some of the new jobs created.
Other top sectors include administrative support, waste management, technical services, manufacturing, restaurants and retail. The energy sector, now classified as oil and gas, is projected to see 1,900 new jobs after relatively little job creation last year. The Houston region lost more than 86,000 jobs since the oil and gas downturn in 2014 but has only regained about 24,400. In the years since GHP officials said Houston survived the downturn by creating jobs elsewhere.
“Houston has emerged from one of the worst energy downturns of the past 35 years where one in every four of the region’s energy jobs was lost,” said Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research for the GHP, in a statement. “In previous downturns, such a collapse would have devastated the entire economy. This time, Houston held up quite well because our ties to the U.S. and global economies are now just as strong as our ties to oil and gas. With energy back in the black, we are poised to see growth across the spectrum.”