Every year at this time, Houston's leaders gather to hear the pearls of wisdom that come from UH professorBarton Smith
as he predicts where the city's economy will go in the future.
Today, as in the past, the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency was sold out. If the 1,000 or so people in attendance were there hoping to hear how Houston was going to continue weathering the U.S.'s financial storm, they were disappointed.
Hard times are coming, Smith told the crowd.
"We're about to lose our energy cushion," Smith told the crowd.
Smith, an affable, quotable guy, has been consistently optimistic in past years; the worst he's gotten is calling for slower growth.
Now, he says, Houston may start shedding jobs. It could be 5,000 or it could be 25,000, depending on the scenario envisioned.
But the news wasn't all bad -- it may only take a couple of years before we recover! Hallelujah!
-- Richard Connelly
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.