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Bureau of Labor Statistics
Total employment in the Houston area decreased by 151,600 over the year ending in October
Total nonfarm employment in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 151,600 over the year ending in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted that the local rate of job loss, 4.8 percent, compared to the 6.0-percent national decline. This was the seventh consecutive month of over-the-year employment declines in the Houston area. (The Technical Note at the end of this release contains metropolitan area definitions. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)
In the Houston metropolitan area, employment declined in 10 out of 11 supersectors. Leisure and hospitality had the largest job loss (-45,800). Within the local supersector, food services and drinking places had the largest decline, losing 27,300 jobs over the year. Employment in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry fell by 12,800, a decrease of 34.2 percent since October 2019. The 13.7-percent rate of job loss in Houston’s leisure and hospitality supersector compared to the 19.7-percent loss nationally.
Houston’s second-largest employment loss occurred in the construction supersector, down 19,800 jobs from October 2019 to October 2020. Employment declined in all the published industries, with the largest loss in heavy and civil engineering construction (-8,400). Local employment in construction fell 8.3 percent over the year, while U.S. employment declined 2.5 percent.
The manufacturing supersector in Houston lost 19,100 jobs in the year ending in October 2020. Local job losses were concentrated in durable goods manufacturing, which declined by 17,800. Non-durable goods manufacturing employment also fell, down by 1,300. However, within the sector, employment in petroleum and coals products manufacturing rose by 1,500. The local 8.2-percent rate of job loss in manufacturing compared to the 4.6-percent U.S. decline.
The mining and logging supersector in Houston lost 15,600 jobs over the year, with the majority of the losses in the support activities for mining industry (-12,400). Employment in the Houston mining and logging supersector fell 19.6 percent over the year, while the national rate of job loss was 15.3 percent.
Employment in Houston’s largest supersector–trade, transportation, and utilities–fell by 15,000 over the year. The largest contributor was wholesale trade, where employment declined by 15,100. Job losses in retail trade totaled 4,400. Despite an annual employment loss in airline transportation (-2,200), the sub-sector of transportation, warehousing, and utilities rose by 4,500 over the year. Locally, the trade, transportation, and utilities supersector’s rate of job loss was 2.4 percent, compared to the 3.5-percent national loss.
The other services supersector (which includes repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, membership associations, and private households) lost 12,800 jobs in the local area since October 2019. The rates of job loss in Houston and the U.S. were 11.1 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.
Houston’s education and health services supersector lost 10,500 jobs from October a year ago. The healthcare and social assistance sub-sector was responsible for the entire loss. Employment in the education and health services supersector fell 2.6 percent locally, compared to the 4.4-percent decline nationally.
Over-the-year job losses were smaller in three of the four remaining supersectors: government (-7,300), financial activities (-3,400), and information (-3,100). Employment in professional and business services was little changed.