HOUSTON – The Houston area led the state in job growth, creating 119,400 jobs in the 12 months ending September, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
“Houston is the No. 1 job creator in the nation,” said Nathaniel Karp, chief economist for BBVA in remarks at the Houston Economics Club Tuesday.
Texas is becoming more dominant in oil production and as a state, ranked up against countries, it is behind only a few majors, such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, Karp said. The state is recording outstanding job growth and should surpass 400,000 new jobs in 2014, he said.
For Houston, September was one of Houston’s biggest 12-month periods for job creation ever and although the 119,000-mark has been surpassed before in 2012 and 1981 by slight margins, according to Patrick Jankowski, vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership.
Since the bottom of the recession, the Houston metro area has added 446,000 net new jobs, or nearly three times the 153,800 jobs lost during the recession, Jankowski reports.
The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro ranked second, adding 100,200 jobs, followed by Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos with 31,400 jobs and San Antonio-New Braunfels with 20,800 jobs.
Houston’s September unemployment rate was 4.9 percent, down from 5.4 percent in August, and down from 6.1 percent in September 2013.
Energy is a big factor in Houston’s unemployment gains, but construction, retail and health care are also major growth sectors.