Greater Houston region expected to see slower job growth in 2020

The Greater Houston area is expected to see a net gain of 42,300 jobs in 2020. (Courtesy Fotolia)
The Greater Houston area is expected to see a net gain of 42,300 jobs in 2020. (Courtesy Fotolia)

The Greater Houston area is expected to see a net gain of 42,300 jobs in 2020. (Courtesy Fotolia)

The Greater Houston area is expected to see a net gain of 42,300 jobs in 2020, according to Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership. This estimate is down from a year-to-date increase of 64,400 jobs in 2019.

Health care is once again the fastest-growing sector with an estimated 7,900 new jobs next year, while the energy industry is slated for another “restructuring” and a loss of about 4,000 jobs, Jankowski said Dec. 5 at the GHP’s annual Economic Outlook event.

“The economy is growing, but Houston’s growth is falling,” he said. “We are starting to see a slowdown in Houston.”

See the Greater Houston area's job growth trends over the last 20 years and the region's projected job gains and losses by sector in 2020 below:




Along with more consolidations in the energy industry next year, Jankowski said he anticipates slower income growth across the region, weaker car sales and challenges in the commercial real estate and retail industries. However, he said he does not expect to see a drop in home sales in 2020 based on residential real estate trends.

“In the next few years, [Houston is] going to be very dependent on what happens in the U.S. economy and the global economy to drive growth in this economy,” he said.


Jankowski said the economy is cyclical, and what he has observed in 2018-19 is similar to what Houston saw as the oil and gas industry recovered from a collapse in the 1980s.

As job growth slows, Jankowski said he is optimistic about Houston’s future. In the 1990s the region gained 900,000 new residents and added 500,000 jobs even with little help from the energy industry, he said.

“We’re not having a repeat of the [19]80s, but as we enter the next decade, it’s going to look an awful lot like what Houston dealt with in the [19]90s,” he said. “[Houston] won’t be growing the way we grew with oil prices high, but we will still grow, and hopefully we’ll get some help from energy.”
By Danica Lloyd

Editor, Cy-Fair

Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2016. As editor, she continues to cover local government, education, health care, real estate, development, business and transportation in Cy-Fair. Her experience prior to CI includes studying at the Washington Journalism Center and interning at a startup incubator in D.C., serving as editor-in-chief of Union University's student magazine and online newspaper, reporting for The Jackson Sun and freelancing for other publications in Arkansas and Tennessee.