Houston: It Sucks, But You Can Find Work

Houston may be a sweltering furnace most of the year battling some of the worst pollution in the country, but according to recent employment numbers, it’s a great place to live.

Yesterday, the United States Department of Labor released stats showing that the Houston area is second only to Dallas in job growth over the past year. According to the report, which looked at data from 310 metropolitan areas, Dallas clocked in with 68,000 new jobs and Houston added 57,100. By contrast, Los Angeles lost 45,000 jobs.

The reason for Houston’s job growth is a combination of factors, including that the city has for the most part avoided the kind of housing-price crisis facing the rest of the country, Ali Anari, research economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, tells Hair Balls.

“There’s a lot of room to grow in Houston,” he says, “because houses are more affordable and because there are so many profitable activities there, such as exports and oil. Higher oil prices are not making consumers happy but it’s benefited Houston very much.”

Overall, says Anari, while the U.S. economy has lost roughly 1 percent of its employment, Texas has added 2.4 percent more new jobs.

“So while the rest of the U.S. economy is losing jobs,” Anari says, “Houston is gaining jobs and that makes homes more affordable and means it’s a better place to live.”

Well, maybe not in August.

-- Chris Vogel

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