HOUSTON – The Greater Houston Partnership forecasts the Houston metro area will create 21,900 net new jobs in 2016, even though low oil prices will be a drag on the regional economy.
“If you want one word to define Houston, I’d say resilience,” said Patrick Jankowski, the Partnership’s Senior Vice President of Research said at the Partnership’s annual outlook event Monday.
The energy and manufacturing sectors will see more jobs losses next year. But healthcare, construction retail, information, finance and insurance, business, professional and technical services, educational services, health care, administrative services, arts and entertainment, accommodation and food services, government and other industries will be adding jobs, Jankowski said.
Houston is expected to create some 30,000 to 40,000 jobs this year (2015). Houston had been adding over 100,000 jobs a year until oil prices dropped sharply in the last part of 2014.
So far this month, oil prices have taken another dip. West Texas Intermediate dropped to $37.59 on Monday, it’s lowest point in nearly seven years.
Another speaker at the Partnership’s luncheon, Anthony Chan, Chief Economist for JPMorgan Chase, offered some encouraging words.
“We believe energy prices will eventually go up,” Chan said. “”At J.P. Morgan, we’re expecting oil prices to the at $55 a barrel by the end of 2016.”
By the end of the decade (2020), oil should be back to $85 to $90 a barrel, Chan said.
In the short term, Houston will be sustained by major population growth, significant construction in the Texas Medical Center and at petrochemical plants and some 8,000 ships that will visit the Port of Houston next year.