2021 Houston Economic Outlook

According to the Greater Houston Partnership’s (the “GHP”) economic outlook for the Houston region, the area is projected to add somewhere between 35,000 to 52,000 jobs in 2021, with most of the job growth coming from administrative support services, health care, manufacturing, and professional services.

During the first two months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Houston region lost more than 350,000 jobs, which was a greater job loss than the 2008 recession and the oil bust of the 1980’s combined. Although a great deal of that job loss has been recovered, the area still needs to add over 170,000 jobs to return to the pre-pandemic employment level. Based on previous history, only five times in the last forty years, has the Houston region added over 100,000 jobs in one year, so it may take several years for job growth to recover the number of jobs lost to the pandemic.

According to their forecast, the GHP projects the second half of the year to be stronger than the first half, based on the anticipation that by mid-year, most of the nation’s health care workers and high-risk individuals will have received a Covid-19 vaccine and any stimulus package passed in the first or second quarter of 2021 will have a noticeable economic impact by mid-Summer.