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Houston Economy at a Glance – August 2019

The August 2019 issue of the Houston Economy at a Glance courtesy of the Greater Houston Partnership has been released. This month’s highlights were compiled by Moody Rambin:

  • Metro Houston created 44,400 jobs in the first six months of ’19, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). That puts Houston on track to gain 80,000 to 90,000 jobs this year.
  • If the Partnership’s estimates prove accurate, the region is on track to create 65,000 to 75,000 jobs in ’19.
  • Five sectors account for most of the YTD job growth: food services and drinking places, specialty trade contractors, mining and logging, architecture and engineering, and health care and social assistance. Combined, they’ve created 35,700 jobs. Those gains have helped offset losses in retail, public education, employment services, building construction, and information.
  • TRADE: After enjoying double-digit growth for the past two years, trade via the Houston-Galveston Customs District has slipped to low, single-digit growth. Factor in 1.6 percent inflation over the past 12 months and the value of Houston’s trade is essentially flat.
  • COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Houston’s office market has seen positive absorption in five of the last 12 quarters, according to NAI Partners. The market has more than 60 million square feet of vacant or soon-to-be-vacant space. That’s a vacancy rate of 25.9 percent. In a healthier market, the rate would be in the low- to mid-teens.
  • Tenants absorbed only 4.2 million of the 8.9 million square feet of industrial space delivered so far this year, according to NAI. The vacancy rate (empty space plus soon-to-be empty) has jumped from 8.0 percent in Q2/18 to 10.3 percent in Q2/19.

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