Houston Business CycleEmployment
Houston Economic Update
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Total seasonally adjusted nonfarm pay-roll employment climbed to nearly 2.66
in April, an annualized monthlyand three-month-average growth rateof 6.2 percent and 3.3 percent, respec-tively. Both monthly and year-over-year employment growth rates haveaveraged about 3 percent for the lastsix months.
Mining and manufacturingfields continued to register the strong-est growth, particularly fabricatedmetal products and support activitiesfor mining subsectors, which saw year-over-year growth of 9.1 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively. The Houston un-employment rate fell from the previousmonth to 7 percent in April, and theU.S. unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent in May.Annualized monthly economic growth in the Houston metropolitanarea was 9.9 percent in April, as measured by the Federal ReserveBank of Dallas’ business-cycle index
With world oil prices com-fortably above $80 and low natural gas prices, hydrocarbon indus-tries are keeping Houston economic activity in high gear with bigspillovers into manufacturing. While a global slowdown is erodingthe growth rate of trade, and transnational fiscal and regulatory un-certainty continues to cloud expectations, it seems Houston hasmoved past recovery and into expansion.
Construction & mining 8.6Manufacturing 9.4Prof. & business services 0.1Trade, transportation, utilities 2.2Leisure & hospitality 6.6Other services 1.3Information 2.6Financial activities 2.0Government –1.9Education & health services 4.9
Figures are three-period-averageannualized monthly growth rates,ordered by descending industrycontribution to fourth quarter 2011year-over-year real wage growth.Data are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonally adjusted bythe Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
The seasonally adjusted, three-month-average growth rate of homesales was 1.9 percent
and the nominal median home pricefell slightly to $160,964. Though recently volatile, new single-family starts and permits are still trending positive
Seasonally ad- justed housing months-in-inventory declined to 5.7, and the supplyof lots tightened considerably
April year-to-date residential con-tract values were up 37 percent; nonresidential contracts weredown 14 percent but are expected to increase through the rest of 2012. Foreclosure sales fell to 18.8 percent of all property sales inApril, only two-thirds of the January level.