Houston is America's Strongest Economic Machine
September 19, 2013

Houston's employment is higher now than at any other time in its 176-year history.  America's strongest economic machine has recovered more than 201.9 percent of all jobs lost during the recent recession – a higher percentage than any other major metro area.

The Houston Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) lost 153,100 jobs in the recession and gained 309,100 jobs in the recovery. As the fourth most populous city and fifth most populous MSA, Houston has not only fully recovered all jobs lost during the economic downturn, it has outpaced the nation's ten largest metro areas. Only three other top metros have fully recovered their lost jobs: Dallas (158.9%), Washington, D.C. (144.2%) and Boston (123.4%). The nation's three largest metros – New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – have yet to fully recover the jobs lost in the recession.

Houston's diversified economy is driving its robust growth. Cutting edge technology has allowed the energy industry to continue to power the Houston region's growth, while research and development breakthroughs at the world's largest medical complex - The Texas Medical Center - position the region well to prosper into the future.  Another factor in Houston's economic might is the production of goods for export, as Houston was recently named by the U.S. International Trade Administration as the largest exporting metro in America. Houston exports totaled $110 billion in 2012.

"Most amazing to me is not only the number of jobs created in the Houston region, but also the quality of the jobs that have been created," said GHP President and CEO Bob Harvey.  "In addition to traditional growth industry sectors, our region has diversified its economy to encompass fields like manufacturing, technology and engineering.  In fact, a full third of our jobs are concentrated in STEM-based fields."

Houston has the second highest concentration of engineers (22.4 for every 1,000 workers) and the second largest population of engineers (59,070) in the country.  While Los Angeles - a metro area with double Houston's employment base - leads the nation with 70,182 engineers, the city only ranks 33rd in concentration of engineers. Silicon Valley's hub San Jose boasts the highest concentration of engineers with 45 engineers for every 1,000 workers.

"Any statistic you look at -- gross domestic product, employment, population, housing, etc. -- Houston leads the nation in economic growth," said GHP's VP of Research Patrick Jankowski.


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