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TRC Blog

November 08 , 2011

Houston’s Collaborative Business Community is all about Sustaining Business Growth

Houston’s Collaborative Business Community is all about Sustaining Business Growth

By David Stukalin | President | The Retail Connection | Houston Job growth is the most important of all economic indicators and Houston stands out. Most adults know what it means to have a job and unfortunately too many know what it means to lose one. Job growth influences home construction, retail sales, airport traffic, energy prices and tax revenues, to name a few. The lack of job growth plaguing the nation is both a sign and a symptom of a weak economy. BUT NOT IN HOUSTON. The Texas Workforce Commission reports that Houston created 65,600 jobs between August 2010 and August 2011. Metro Houston Employment Outlook Based on Historic Growth Rates 1.89 percent CAGR = 47,800 jobs 2.65 percent CAGR = 67,100 jobs Based on Third-Party Forecasts 2.35 percent (Perryman) = 66,000 jobs 2.11 percent (Woods & Poole) 53,300 jobs Most Recent Performance 2.6 percent (Texas Workforce Commission) 65,600 jobs since August 2010 The Perryman Group, a Waco-based firm, forecasts a 2.35 percent annual growth rate. Based on their projections, job growth for Houston over the coming decade should average 53,300 to 66,000 per year. Again, recent jobs numbers reported by TWC place Houston near the high-end of that range. Clearly, job growth has returned to normal in Houston. More important to us is that Houston is No. 1 in retail job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report says Houston has created more retail jobs than any U.S. city since 2008, according to the Houston Business Journal. Houston added 4,100 retail jobs in the past three years, according to an On Numbers study of new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Austin was No. 2 in creating new retail jobs, adding 2,400, the report said. Only eight of the nation’s 100 major markets have higher retail employment now than they did in 2008, when the recession slammed the brakes on consumer spending. Houston is one of them. Houston’s retail market continued to improve in the second and third quarters of 2011 with positive absorption and lower vacancy rates. During the last 2 years, the market posted a positive net absorption with a retail vacancy rate of 7.8%, down from 8.4% a year ago. Average city – wide quoted rental rates are slightly under $15 and development has taken place on over 400,000 square feet of new retail space, including single tenant, strip centers and neighborhood centers – most of which are about 30% pre-leased. Retailers that have recently opened in the Houston general vicinity are Dollar Tree, Fed-Ex, Game Over Videogames, Exclusive’s Women’s Healthcare, DSW, Jo-Ann, and FreeBirds World Burrito. Over the past 30 years, Houston has waded through 4 recessions, sprinted through three employment booms, endured three employment busts, and watched a host of industries such as housing, construction, manufacturing, real estate, energy and trade soar, plummet, rebound, and soar again. In spite of the highs and lows, the region has an impressive record. Since 1981, Houston has: · Added 2.8 million residents · Created more than one million jobs · Built 760,000 single-family homes · Sold more than 7.6 million vehicles · Erected 75 million square feet of office space · Handled 4.7 billion tons of cargo · Served more than 1 billion air passengers From nanotechnology to energy, advanced manufacturing and a bustling retail scene, Houston is all about collaboration and partnerships. The Houston region offers a business friendly environment with a low cost of living and an abundance of available land and space. Add to the mix a well-educated work force and a can-do spirit and businesses can’t help but thrive or at the very least, produce decent profits. Houston will be well positioned to flourish entering into 2012, and The Retail Connection | Houston is excited to be a part of the retail opportunities that are in store for our team. .
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