Report: 1 in 4 jobs added by 2036 in Greater Houston will be in the health care sector

The Center for Houston’s Future released a report Oct. 28 that looks at the economic vitality of the region’s health care system and assesses the region’s community health. (Courtesy Pexels)
The Center for Houston’s Future released a report Oct. 28 that looks at the economic vitality of the region’s health care system and assesses the region’s community health. (Courtesy Pexels)

The Center for Houston’s Future released a report Oct. 28 that looks at the economic vitality of the region’s health care system and assesses the region’s community health. (Courtesy Pexels)

By 2036, one in four jobs added within Greater Houston will be created through the health care sector, generating an additional $26 billion in gross domestic product, according to a new report released Oct. 28 by Center for Houston's Future, an economic research and strategic planning firm.

To arrive at its data, the Center for Houston’s Future spent the last year collecting data from interviews and focus groups of more than 50 health care experts and surveys completed by some 100 executives in Greater Houston.

Greater Houston is contradictory about health, said Steven Scarborough, the lead author of the report and the center’s manager of strategic initiatives, during the report’s announcement event.

While the region has great hospitals, there are many who do not have access to them, Scarborough said, and there is a need for a better workforce pipeline for future health care workers.

Social factors, including a person’s economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, and even food quality, play a role in health disparities, according to the report.

“Many of these social determinants help explain why we have significant health disparities in Houston across class, racial and ethnic lines,” Scarborough said. “[This is] something that’s absolutely clear, as we’ve seen in poor and minority communities impacted by COVID-19.”

In addition, failing to develop any sort of pipeline could cost the region $18.6 billion in GDP and 111,000 jobs by 2036, according to the report.

The coronavirus pandemic actually slowed the release of the report; it was originally scheduled for a March release, but the research team spent the last several months revising the report with COVID-19 in mind, Scarborough said.

A survey conducted in September shows that 59% of respondents said the pandemic has made them more likely to support an expansion of Medicaid in Texas, while 65% said they expect health care costs to rise by over 10% in the next five years.

The report also called for collaboration across the region’s hospital systems and stakeholders, a message shared by panelists during a discussion immediately following the announcement of the report.

“I so often hear, ‘Oh, I look forward to getting back to the way things were,’ said panelist Dr. Faith Foreman-Hays, assistant director of the Houston Department of Health & Human Services. “In my mind, I’m always saying, ‘I hope not. I hope that we do not go back to working in silos and working as individuals. I do hope we take what we learned from COVID to move forward and to move our city forward by using all of these new efficacious kinds of ways that can get things done that we didn’t know we could get things done this way until COVID forced us to do it this way.”
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.


Houston ISD reported that 42% of its students failed at least one class in the first six-week grading period for 2020-21, which was held exclusively online. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston ISD acknowledges role of COVID-19 virtual instruction in student performance drop

"The most notable difference between last year and this year is the virtual education component implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the district said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First allotment of COVID-19 vaccinations expected to arrive in Texas in mid-December

About 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been allotted to the state of Texas and will arrive the week of Dec. 14.

The East Montgomery County Industrial Park off Gene Campbell Road will welcome the Lowe's Distribution Center in July. (Courtesy East Montgomery County Improvement District)
Lowe's to bring 200 jobs to Montgomery County and more Houston-area news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

The letter came a week after Longoria was virtually sworn into the office by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Nov. 18. (Screenshot via Zoom)
Harris County scrambles to make creation of Elections Administrator Office lawful after Attorney General's letter identifies deficiencies

Harris County is working to make right the appointment of Isabel Longoria as the county's first-ever elections administrator after County Attorney Vince Ryan received a letter Nov. 25 from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stating that the county did not follow the proper appointment process.

Houston residents can apply for $1,200 in direct cash assistance

Applications will be evaluated based on need rather than a first-come, first-served basis.

Gwen Sims first joined Harris County Public Health in 1997. (Courtesy Harris County Public Health)
Deputy Director Gwen Sims appointed interim executive director of Harris County Public Health

Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously appointed Gwen Sims to serve as the interim executive director of Harris County Public Health in anticipation of Executive Director Umair Shah's departure Dec. 18.

A majority of businesses within Houston's Inner Loop have managed to keep their retail spaces, but future post-COVID-19 success isn't certain. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Retail leasing in Bellaire-Meyerland-West University absorbs a shock

So far, data on retail leasing shows occupancy and rents holding steady, but 2020 is not over yet.

2332 Robinhood St., Houston: This new home is a short walk to Rice Village and Rice University, and it is a short bike ride to Texas Medical Center, museums and Hermann Park. Silvan Homes created a home that offers clean modern lines while still maintaining warmth and comfort. Designed for luxury, the home features high-end stainless appliances, designer lighting, hardwoods, high ceilings, an open floor plan, and a living room with views to the yard and a covered veranda. 4-5 bed, 5 full, 1 half bath/4,904 sq. ft. Sold for $2,176,001-$2,501,000 on Nov. 10. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
Bellaire-Meyerland-West University Place real estate: See some of the properties that sold in November

Homes that sold in November in the Bellaire-Meyerland-West University Place area included contemporary, historic and remodeled homes, including a 1955 ranch-style home located near Texas Medical Center at Woodside.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

new hope housing
Mayor Sylvester Turner announces initiative to restore an urban prairie, ease flooding

The project will serve as a model for future stormwater retetention efforts, the mayor said.

Downtown Houston Streetscape at dusk
Mayor Sylvester Turner considering curfew as 'last resort' to curb bar and club crowding

Houston fire chief Sam Peña, whose department is responsible for monitoring occupancy violations, said fire marshals have responded to over 20,000 complaints since March 18.