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Where the Jobs Are

February 2019 employment data was released on March 22, 2019 for the Gulf Coast region.

Employers in the H-W-S MSA reported an increase of 26,900 jobs in February.  The 0.9 percent increase was weaker than a 1.3 percent increase in February 2018 but slightly stronger than the historical average of 0.7 percent. Many industry sectors managed increase with largest gains found in:

  • Professional & Business Services, up 8,200 jobs or 1.7%
  • Local Government, up 7,800 jobs or 2.6 percent
  • Manufacturing, up 5,200 jobs or 2.2 percent

February declines were found:

  • Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities, down 4,300 jobs or 2.8 percent
  • Retail Trade, down 2,600 jobs or 0.9 percent
  • Leisure and Hospitality, down 1,200 jobs or 0.4 percent

Employers in the H-W-S MSA added 72,600 jobs over the year. The 2.4 percent pace of job growth was faster than the nation's 1.7 percent. Primary contributors to over-the-year growth were:

  • Manufacturing, up 17,100 jobs or 7.6 percent
    • Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing added 6,300 jobs
    • Machinery Manufacturing added 4,600 jobs
  • Professional and Business Services, up 17,000 jobs or 3.5 percent
    • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services added 6,300 jobs
    • Administrative and Support Services added 3,000 jobs
    • Computer Systems Design and Related Services added 1,800 jobs
    • Services to Buildings and Dwellings added 1,300 jobs
  • Education and Health Services, up 11,800 jobs or 3.0 percent
  • Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities, up 4,300 jobs or 3.0 percent

Industries with strong prospects for hiring in April:

  • Leisure and Hospitality establishments, specifically the restaurant and hotel industries
  • Manufacturing establishments of fabricated metal products and machinery
  • Healthcare service establishments
  • Administrative and support service establishments
  • Merchant wholesalers of durable goods

The rate of unemployment in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metropolitan Statistical Area (H-W-S MSA) fell three-tenths of a percentage point to 4.2 percent in February, slightly higher than the state's 3.9 percent rate and nation's 4.1 percent rate.  


For more detailed job growth information, see the monthly reports located at Understand the Local Labor Market.

 Workforce Solutions
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1. Monthly data is not available at the thirteen county Gulf Coast Region level and is only provided for The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metropolitan Statistical Area (H-W-S MSA). The H-W-S MSA includaes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller.
Week of April 22nd