#8 Fastest Growing U.S. Market for 2007
July 1, 2000: 4,742,159
July 1, 2006: 5,539,949
Percent change: 16.82 percent
* Population statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau
Percent change: 8.49 percent
* Job statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
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|Table of Contents|
|The Top 10 Fastest Growing Markets in America|
|1.||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|7.||Charlotte, North Carolina|
Like many Texas cities, Houston has seen more growth in its suburban sprawl areas than in the city proper; Houston itself grew by just 6.20 percent from 2000 to 2006. The city saw growth of 13.72 percent in the population under five years old, but minimal growth or declines in all age groups from five to 44 years old. Double digit growth occurred in ages 45 to 64.
The population of the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown MSA increased by between 2 and 3 percent every year from 2000 to 2005, but it jumped by 3.50 percent from 2005 to 2006. This may reflect the fact that many Hurricane Katrina victims moved to Houston after the hurricane.
Houston’s economy is known for its dependence on the oil industry; when oil does well, as it has in recent years, Houston’s economy also does well. When the oil industry struggles, Houston’s economy is strongly impacted. Houston’s oil boom in the 1970s spurred the economy, but struggles in the oil industry meant a recession during the 1980s, according to the Greater Houston Partnership. “Dominance of Houston’s economic base by upstream energy…in 1982 made Houston vulnerable to a downturn in worldwide oil demand while supply was growing.”
After that downturn, the city began to diversify into other industries; the four-year period of recovery after the downturn represented “not a return of upstream energy jobs, but growth in industries relatively insensitive to energy prices,” such as engineering, computer science and technical administration jobs at organizations such as NASA and the Texas Medical Center, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.
“About half of the city’s jobs, or 1.1 million positions, are tied to the energy industry,” according to The New York Times. In February 2007, the Houston MSA held 29.5 percent of the nation’s jobs in oil and gas extraction, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.
Because the city wants to continue to reduce the impact of potential oil industry downturns, in 2006 the Greater Houston Partnership began a $40 million effort to diversify the local economy and bring 600,000 new jobs to the area over the next decade, according to The New York Times.
From 2000 to 2006, the city of Houston saw job growth of 55.71 percent in construction and 29.09 percent in arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation, and food services.
The MSA had a steep decline of 21 percent in single family housing permits from August 2006 to August 2007, but that decline was less than the national average of 28 percent for single family permits, and the MSA actually had a 35 percent increase in multi-family permits, so the total decline was just 10 percent—much less than the average national decline of 24 percent, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Overall, the MSA had negative job growth in 2002 and 2003, but growth has increased each year since then, with 0.69 percent in 2004, 2.57 percent in 2005 and 4.15 percent in 2006.