Houston Economy at a Glance

Houston Economy at a Glance

December 2023 Edition

The Greater Houston Partnership is an economic development organization in Houston, Texas. They serve as a a gathering place for community minded business leaders who want to be involved in the positive growth and influence Houston’s economic trajectory. Below are some highlights from the December edition of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Economy at a Glance. Download the full report below.

Download Economy at a Glance Report



  • Metro Houston added 16,400 jobs in October. That’s slightly above the normal range (12,000 to 14,000) for the month. Year-to-date, the region has created 53,700 jobs.
  • The region typically adds 15,000 to 30,000 jobs in November and December, which would have Houston finish the year with 63,000 to 83,000 jobs. Last December, the Partnership forecast the region would create just under 80,000 jobs if the U.S. avoided a recession. The region is on track to hit the Partnership’s forecast.
  • Total payroll employment in Houston now tops 3,389,500. Since the economy reopened in May ’20, the region has added 557,000 jobs, recovering 155.0 percent of the 359,300 jobs lost early in the pandemic. Employment will likely top 3.4 million by year’s end, only to lose 40,000 to 50,000 jobs in January if the region follows the typical seasonal pattern. By late ’24, employment should surpass 3.4 million again.
  • Over the 12 months ending October ’23, Houston created 76,600 jobs, which ranked sixth among the nation’s major metros, behind New York, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Miami.


  • Though the cost of living has increased dramatically in recent years, Houston remains one of the most affordable places to live, work, and build a business. Local living costs are 4.2 percent below the national average and well below those of the nation’s major metro areas, according to the Q3/23 Cost of Living Index prepared by the Council for Community and Economy Research (C2ER).


  • Energy — The Energy Information Administration forecasts global crude output to increase by 1.0 million barrels per day in ’24. Ongoing OPEC+ production cuts will offset growth from non-OPEC countries and help maintain a relatively balanced global oil market next year.
  • Unemployment — The unemployment rates for metro Houston and Texas fell in October while the U.S. rate held steady. Houston’s rate slipped from 4.4 percent in September to 4.1 percent in October, Texas’ rate from 4.1 percent to 3.8 percent, and the U.S. rate remained flat at 3.6 percent.

Source: Greater Houston Partnership 

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