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Future looks positive for Texas, Houston job market

Employment trends & short-term forecasts for Texas and the Houston area

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the job growth will continue at the moderate pace of 1.3 percent per year through 2012 and will be concentrated in the 3 largest Texas metro areas (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin).

The Houston area is likely to lead in term of job creation because of its diverse economy and growing sectors such as energy with oil and gas, transportation with increasing air traffic and the port of Houston with booming export activity, and health care.  After 2011, the job growth in the Houston Metro area is likely to rise 2 to 2.5 percent annually.

The Energy sector lost 3,000 jobs in 2009 and is forecasted to recoup the great majority of them by 2012.  The Health Care sector is the largest employer in the Gulf Coast area and continued to create jobs throughout the recession and is expected to generate another 30,000 jobs by 2012.

Professional and Business Services and the Education sectors combined are projected to create 25,000 jobs by 2012.

The Construction, Manufacturing and Retail Trade sectors are expected to generate a net loss of jobs through 2012.  Due to the forecasted state and local government budget cuts, a decrease in government jobs is likely, especially in the education and social services area, in the next 2 years.

Source:  Texas Workforce Commission – RDA Global Inc.  A Forecast for the Texas Economy and Job Market: 2008-2012

Demographics

A high birth rate and high immigration rate for working adults will lead to population growth, which will drives up demand for goods and services and leads to job expansion. In 2010, more than 1,000 people per day moved to Texas, mostly to the 4 metro areas (Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin).  According to the Census Bureau, more people moved to the Houston metro area (100,000) than anywhere else in the US from July 2008 to July 2009.

Sector Wise

Many factors are leading to solid growth in the Health Care sector.  The Texas population includes many baby boomers and many young families who both are medical care consumers.  The new national health care bill will also require Texas to change its health care system as a quarter of the population currently lacks health insurance, which should lead to job creation.  The increase in incidence of obesity and diabetes in Texas will also boost the demand for health care and also result in job creation.

With a growing population, the state of Texas will be facing a rising demand for services like health care, education, and other services.  However the current budget proposal currently debated by the state legislature does not account for that increase, and it is questionable whether the state will be able to create the jobs necessary to provide these additional services.  With the help of federal spending, employment in the Government sector is still expected to grow at an annual rate of 1.8 percent.

The Retail Trade sector is expected to create jobs at the rate of 1percent annually through 2012, but is likely to fall short of regaining its 2008 employment level by 2012 as shoppers have grown more saving prone and conservative.

The Texas Manufacturing sector is currently recovering from significant job losses in 2009 but the recent job creation is likely to be a temporary reprieve as customers replenish inventories.  The Texas Manufacturing sector is forecasted to eliminate another 100,000 jobs by 2012.  Strong gains in productivity allow manufacturers to increase production without creating new jobs; tight credit is also stunning grow and job creation.  Texas manufacturers rely mainly on the Mexican market for exports and need to diversify and access stronger markets with better growth prospects such as China, Brazil, Russia and India.

The Construction and Real Estate sector are expected to stagnate through 2012.  Regarding residential housing, tight credit is still an undermining factor in a market with fewer buyers scaling back and opting for smaller more efficient homes.  There is a debate over how well construction in the suburbs will recover given higher gas prices.  The commercial real estate currently exhibits high excess inventory levels and is facing significant credit issues as banks scale down loans opportunities.

With global demand for energy on the rise, and the current uncertainty in the Middle East, oil prices have significantly increased over the last 12 months and the upward trend is expected to continue.  This is good news for the Energy sector where the job recovery is well under wayMost of the job creation will come from the oil and gas industry, especially white collar jobs, but also from the renewable energy sector.

The Hotel and Restaurant and the Art and Leisure sectors are expected to grow respectively at 2.3 and 3 percent annually as the population increases.

Small growth is projected for the Financial Services sector as it reorganizes and recovers from the recent financial crisis.

Source:  RDA Global Inc.  A Forecast for the Texas Economy and Job Market: 2008-2012 – Texas Workforce Commission.

 

Occupation Wise

The occupations forecasted to add the most jobs in the Gulf Coast area between 2008 and 2018 are the following:

Source:  Texas Workforce Commission – Gulf Coast Development Area-Occupational Projections

 

Industry Wise

The sectors expected to add the most jobs in the Gulf Coast area between 2008 and 2018 are the following:

 

This article was shared by Felicia Hines, Employer Relations Manager via http://www.hccbizconnect.org/economics/houston-trends/