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GHP Forecast: Fewer New Jobs will be Created in Houston in 2020

A panel at the Greater Houston Partnership’s Annual Houston Region Economic Outlook: Eddie Robinson of Houston Public Media; Brad Freels, Chairman, Midway Companies; Nataly Marks, JPMorgan Chase; and David Milich, Texas CEO, UnitedHealthcare. Photo credit: Michelle Leigh Smith.

HOUSTON – (By Michelle Leigh Smith for Realty News Report) – Houston’s economy will churn slightly slower in 2020, according to the annual forecast by Patrick Jankowski, economist for the Greater Houston Partnership.

Houston will add 42,300 new jobs in 2020, down from the 64,400 jobs anticipated in 2019.

A downturn in the energy industry will soften the regional economy next year.

“There’s a little bit of a slowdown in oil and gas, and fewer wells are being drilled. Energy makes up 9 percent of Houston’s Gross Domestic Product,” Jankowski said at the Partnership’s Houston Region Economic Outlook event at the Royal Sonesta hotel on the West Loop.

Of the region’s current 87,400 energy jobs, Jankowski expects the energy sector to lose 4,000 jobs next year.

The rig count is declining, new equipment orders are down and layoffs have been reported in the energy services sector.

Meanwhile, sectors tied to population growth, such as health care, and others linked to the global economy, such as manufacturing and trade, will help ensure Houston stays in positive jobs territory in 2020.

“As Houston prepares to enter the 2020s, the region needs a new set of growth engines. Perhaps they will emerge from the Texas Medical Center, the Innovation Corridor, or Houston’s Energy Corridor,” said Jankowski. “Until those new engines emerge, Houston’s growth will depend heavily on the U.S. and global economies. Fortunately, both should perform reasonably well next year.”

And the number of people working is surging.

 “As of October 2019, Houston’s employment stood at 3.2 million – a record high for the region,” said Jankowski.

In Houston’s real estate sector, which makes up 9.1 percent of GDP, there are 63,400 existing jobs. The real estate sector will add 1,200 jobs next year, according to  Jankowski’s prediction.  The Houston office market is soft with vacancy, but  other real estate sectors have been healthy.

Dec. 6, 2019 Realty News Report Copyright 2019

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