02 October 2013, News Wires – The unemployment rate in Texas fell to 6.4 percent in August – a rate that remains below the national unemployment level of 7.3 percent, reported the Texas Workforce Commission. The percentage fell from 6.5 percent in July and from 6.8 percent from a year ago.
“Every major industry in Texas showed positive annual job growth and Texas employers added 274,700 jobs over the year,” stated Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar in a press release.
Employment in drilling grew 7.3 percent, totaling more than 90,000 jobs by the end of 2012, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Jobs in extraction added more than 193,000 jobs at the end of last year, an increase of 24.4 percent. Support positions in the oil and gas industry accounted for 286,000 total jobs last year, reflecting a 35.6 percent increase since 2007.
As for Houston, the city continues to lead the nation in job growth. Local area employers added 97,700 jobs to their payrolls during the past 12 months, representing a 3.6 percent increase between July 2012 and July 2013.
While Texas lost 400,000 jobs in the “Great Recession,” more than 800,000 jobs have since been created, according to Texas economist, Ray Perryman.
The O&G Industry Continues to Provide
Employment in the energy and manufacturing sectors in the oil and gas industry grew at a much faster pace than employment in the private sector, stated the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
While the U.S. private sector employment improved, adding more than 1 million jobs from 2007 through the end of 2012 – representing a 1 percent increase – the oil and natural gas industry added more than 162,000 jobs, representing a 40 percent increase during that same period.
The energy boom created 2.1 million direct and indirect jobs by the end of last year and this number is expected to increase to almost 3.9 million jobs by 2025, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
And the energy industry has been just as vital to Houston’s economy recovery and expansion. Since January 2010, the upstream energy sector (exploration and production, oilfield services and equipment manufacturing) created 39,200 jobs, according to an economic report from the Greater Houston Partnership.
Though upstream represents only one in every 20 jobs in the region, the sector accounts for one in every eight jobs created in the recovery and expansion. Add in engineering and fabricated metal products, and these sectors put in another 24,900 jobs, added the report.
Together, these sectors represent one in every five jobs created in Houston since the recession began.
These stats reveal that the local economy doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.
“If Houston has slowed down, it is pretty modest,” said Barton Smith, economics professor emeritus at the University of Houston.
“Energy employment could increase to 6 to 6.5 percent over the next 12 months, and overall, Houston is on track to add 3.5 percent to 4 percent more jobs during the next 12 months,” he added. “That represents about 100,000 new jobs for the Houston area.”