Total Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment in Texas grew by 237,800 jobs in May, the highest over-the-month increase since the series began in 1990. The increase came after a combined decrease of over 1.4 million jobs in March and April as a result of economic shutdowns related to COVID-19. The May increase coincides with gradual steps to reopen economies across the state. Private Sector jobs increased by 291,000 in May, also a series high. Eight of 11 major industries added jobs over-the-month, including record monthly increases in five. Substantial year-over-year employment decreases remain statewide

for almost all industries. From May 2019 to May 2020 Texas shed 917,800 jobs including 853,600 private sector positions.

Houston MSA

The Houston MSA, which accounted for 27% of Texas’ employment increase over-the-month, saw the 2ndhighest rebound in the region, adding 63,900 jobs, or 2.6%, over-the-month (although still 227,500 jobs below over-the-year numbers). 

Over-the-month, the Service Sector was up 3.1%, or 72,900 jobs, and was led by:

#1 Leisure and Hospitality, up 18.9% or 39,800 

#2 Education and Health Services up 6.6% or 24,500 

#3 Retail Trade up 4.1% or 11,300

While we still await more data, specifically need to wait until mid-July to see June’s numbers, if the current trend holds and oil prices continue to stabilize there is a good chance the Houston market could see stabilization by the end-of-the-year.

Houston Labor Market Review - May 2020