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 May edition of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Economy at a Glance. Download the full report below.
INCHING CLOSER TO A FULL RECOVERY
- As of March ’22, Houston had recouped 331,400 jobs or 92.2 percent of the 359,400 jobs lost in the early stages of the pandemic. Only 28,000 jobs are needed to return to pre-COVID employment levels. Houston should reach that milestone soon. The region typically creates 8,000 – 12,000 jobs in April and 12,000 – 16,000 jobs in May.
COMPENSATION COSTS RISING
- Compensation costs for private sector workers in metro Houston rose 4.5 percent in the 12 months ending March ’22, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s the highest bump in recent years. A year ago, compensation costs jumped a mere 1.1 percent. Compensation includes wages, salaries, health insurance and other benefits. Separately, wages and salaries, the largest component of compensation, rose 5.2 percent, slightly above the national average of 4.8 percent.
HOME OWNERSHIP MORE DIFFICULT
- Housing affordability in Houston has declined significantly over the past two years, according to a study recently released by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR). Only 47 percent of households in metro Houston earned the minimum annual income ($73,400) required to purchase the median-priced Houston home ($330,800) in Q1/22.That’s down from 58 percent in Q1/21. Houston is not unique.
PERRYMAN’S OUTLOOK ON THE FUTURE
- The economic outlook remains bright for Houston this year and into next, according to the latest projections from The Perryman Group, the Waco-based think tank that’s been analyzing and forecasting for U.S., Texas, and Texas metro growth since the early ’80s.
- Perryman calls for Houston’s real gross product (RGP) to grow 6.5 percent this year (December to December) and 4.1 percent next year. The region should add 131,500 jobs in ’22 and 73,400 in ’23. And Houston should welcome 87,300 new residents this year and 90,200 next.
KEY ECONOMIC INDICATORS
- Crude Oil — The closing spot price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. benchmark for light, sweet crude, averaged $101.78 per barrel in April ’22, up from $61.72 in April ’21, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The outlook for crude prices remains highly uncertain. Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, OPEC’s reluctance to boost production, the slow pace of U.S. drilling, and low global inventories are putting upward pressure on prices. COVID lockdowns across China and concerns about a global recession are somewhat counterbalancing those pressures. EIA forecasts WTI to average $98.20 per barrel this year and $93.24 next.
Source: Greater Houston Partnership