January 11, 2017
The Houston metro’s economy has taken a hit since late 2014, the “official” start of the oil-price slump. But, depending on who you talk to, the downturn is over.
The Greater Houston Partnership’s “2017 Houston Employment Forecast” noted that West Texas Intermediate crude is trading near $50 a barrel, up from its mid-February 2016 low of $26. The drilling rig number is climbing, as is the Houston Purchasing Managers Index. The GHP is forecasting 29,700 new jobs for Houston this year, in the healthcare and leisure industries.
But Bruce McClenny has a different story. The Lake Houston area on the metro’s northeast side is home to oil upstream and downstream employers, he told “Community Impact.” It’s those companies that continue to struggle. The result is a somewhat bifurcated economic story. Even the GHP points out that recovery isn’t going happen overnight. But things are getting better. Slowly.
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