Houston Ranked in Top 10 "Best Cities for Job Growth" - 2014 Houston Economic Outlook
Houston ranked among the top-performing U.S. metros in 2013 and continues to be among the top 10 metros leading the nation in population and job growth in 2014. Houston is once again making headlines as having one of the healthiest economies in the U.S. In July 2014, Forbes published its list of “Best Cities for Job Growth”, and Houston was in the top 10. Further, Texas dominated the top 10 with five metros, which are expected to have annual job growth of at least 3.5% in 2014.
As expected, a large majority of the jobs Houston gained are related to the energy sector; however, Houston is also a top 10 city for STEM occupations, jobs requiring a degree in science, technology, engineering and math related subjects. In June 2014, Forbes ranked Houston in the top 10 for companies with the greatest number of STEM positions currently open with 10,278 positions listed. Houston also made Forbes' list of “The Top 10 Cities For Relocation”, with the highest gains in Engineering and Operations jobs.
Houston’s citywide vacancy rate fell 10 basis points between quarters to 11.8% from 11.9%, and dropped by 90 basis points annually from 12.7% in Q2 2013. Between quarters, the average suburban vacancy rate remained at 11.9%, while the average CBD vacancy rate decreased 70 basis points from 12.0% to 11.3%.
Houston’s economic base is comprised of a variety of industries led by the energy sector, which accounts for just over 50 percent of Houston’s employment. Houston is known as the “Energy Capital of the World”, and is home to more than 5,000 energy related companies. It’s no surprise that Texas is the #1 ranked U.S. state by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in total energy production, and the production of crude oil, natural gas, and electricity production. Texas ranks 6th in coal production. Texas is home to several shale plays and one of those is the Eagle Ford, which produces more than 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, or 7 billion cubic feet equivalent per day and that production level has helped to increase local employment in the industry.
Houston’s strategic location and core strengths, including an expanding energy sector, strong import/export trade activity, cutting-edge medical advancements, and technological breakthroughs across industries, uniquely position it to play a vital role in meeting national and global market demands. At a time of unprecedented geopolitical demographic shifts affecting markets worldwide, Houston stands as a leader among U.S. metros.