HOUSTON — Houston gained 91,300 new jobs over the last 12 months, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.
The results, measuring job creation between January 2013 and January 2104, highlight the fact that the energy industry and virtually every sector of the Houston area economy is surging.
Houston’s unemployment rate dipped to 5.7 percent in January, the lowest since November 2008 and a marked improvement over the 6.9 percent recorded in January 2013.
Dr. Barton Smith, the dean of Texas economists, told the Houston Chronicle the Houston economy is turning in a strong performance.
“This is nice broad growth,” Smith, professor emeritus of the University of Houston, told the Chronicle’s L.M. Sixel.
Houston’s construction is on a roll: Hines, Crescent and Hilcorp have downtown towers under development and a 1,000-room Marriott will break ground in April. Home builders are also moving into high-gear with the nation’s top builders, including Toll Brothers, starting major projects and activity is wild near the new 3 million sf Exxon Mobil campus north of Houston and in the Energy Corridor west of Houston.
The 91,300 job gain is a strong start to a year that some economists predict will be not so impressive. Bill Gilmer, director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston, says the Houston area will create only 65,000 new jobs in 2014, while Patrick Jankowski, the Greater Houston Partnership’s vice president of research, is predicting only 69,800 new jobs.
COMMENT: In a recent editorial, RealtyNewsReport says these predictions by Gilmer and Jankowski are ridiculously low and destined to be wrong by a considerable margin. RealtyNewsReport has issued this appeal to these two widely-quoted economists: Make upward revisions to your job growth forecasts.