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News Release Information

20-874-DAL
Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (972) 850-4800

Houston Area Employment — April 2020

Total nonfarm employment in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area stood at 2,873,800 in April 2020, down 265,700, or 8.5 percent, from one year earlier, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. During the same period, the national job count dropped 12.9 percent. (See chart 1.) Acting Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted that Houston’s annual decline marked the largest rate of decrease for the series since its inception in January 1990. Despite this record loss, Houston ranked third among the 12 largest metropolitan areas in the country, as 9 of the 12 areas had greater percentage losses. (The Technical Note at the end of this release contains metropolitan area definitions. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

Industry employment

In the Houston metropolitan area, the leisure and hospitality supersector had the largest employment decline, losing 117,500 jobs from April a year ago. Within the supersector, food services and drinking places had the largest decline, losing 93,200 jobs over the year. The 35.4-percent rate of local job loss in leisure and hospitality compared to the 47.2-percent national plunge. (See table 1 and chart 2.)

Houston’s second-largest employment loss occurred in the education and health services supersector which lost 35,600 jobs from April 2019 to April 2020. The health care and social assistance subsector dropped 32,600 jobs during the period. The education and health services supersector had an 8.8-percent rate of job loss in Houston, compared to an 8.7-percent loss nationwide.

Employment in Houston’s largest supersector–trade, transportation, and utilities–fell by 24,700 jobs over the year. Local declines were widespread among the industries, with the largest loss in clothing and clothing accessories stores (-14,100). Two local industries did experience growth–general merchandise stores, including warehouse clubs and supercenters (+1,700) and food and beverage stores (+1,600). Locally, the trade, transportation, and utilities supersector’s rate of job loss was 4.0 percent, compared to a 10.6-percent loss nationally.

Construction lost 19,800 jobs in the Houston area from April 2019 to April 2020. The greatest decline was in specialty trade contractors, which lost 19,200 jobs. Area employment in the construction supersector fell 8.4 percent, compared to the 11.3-percent national decline.

Houston’s manufacturing employment fell by 17,300 from April a year ago. Local job losses were nearly equally distributed between durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, 9,100 and 8,200, respectively. The local 7.3-percent decrease in manufacturing jobs compared to a 10.5-percent U.S. decline.

The other services supersector (which includes repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, membership associations, and private households) declined by 15,600 jobs in the local area since April 2019. The rates of job loss in Houston and the U.S. were 13.5 percent and 21.3 percent, respectively.

The mining and logging supersector in Houston lost 14,200 jobs during the last year, with the majority of the losses in the support activities for mining industry. This was the only local supersector to experience a notably faster rate of job loss (-17.6 percent) than the national average (-11.7 percent).

Houston’s professional and business services supersector lost 13,100 jobs from April a year ago. Although increases occurred in some of the professional services industries, the employment services industry lost 15,600 jobs. Employment in Houston’s professional and business services supersector fell 2.6 percent compared to the national loss of 9.0 percent.

Local employment losses were smaller in the three remaining supersectors: financial activities (-3,000), government (-2,500), and information (-2,400).

Employment in the 12 largest metropolitan areas

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land was 1 of the nation’s 12 largest metropolitan statistical areas in April 2020. All 12 areas had over-the-year job losses during the period, with the rates of job loss in 6 areas exceeding the national decrease of 12.9 percent. New York-Newark-Jersey City had the highest rate of job loss (-19.6 percent), followed by Boston-Cambridge-Nashua (-16.7 percent). Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale had the lowest rates of job loss (-7.6 percent each). (See chart 3 and table 2.)

New York lost the largest number of jobs over the year (-1,949,600), followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim (-916,200). The smallest employment loss occurred in Phoenix (-164,000). Annual losses in the remaining nine metropolitan areas ranged from 610,900 in Chicago-Naperville-Elgin to 265,700 in Houston.

Over the year, leisure and hospitality lost the most jobs in all 12 metropolitan areas. New York had the largest loss of jobs for this sector (-626,900), followed by Los Angeles (-321,500). Phoenix had the smallest job loss for the leisure and hospitality sector (-90,500). The remaining nine areas had job losses of over 100,000 for this industry sector.

The information sector posted annual gains in four areas: Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward.

Metropolitan area employment data for May 2020 are scheduled to be released on Friday, June 19, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on April 2020 Establishment Survey Data

BLS has continued to review all estimation and methodological procedures for the establishment survey, which included the review of data, estimation processes, the application of the birth-death model, and seasonal adjustment. Business births and deaths cannot be adequately captured by the establishment survey as they occur. Therefore, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program uses a model to account for the relatively stable net employment change generated by business births and deaths. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the relationship between business births and deaths is no longer stable. For the March 2020 final estimates updated with this news release, CES modified the birth-death model. Typically, reports with zero employment are not included in estimation. For the March final estimates, CES included a portion of these reports in the estimates. For the April 2020 preliminary estimates, in addition to the inclusion of reported zeros, the establishment survey made modifications to the birth-death model. For more information, see www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbd.htm.

In the establishment survey, workers who are paid by their employer for all or any part of the pay period including the 12th of the month are counted as employed, even if they were not actually at their jobs. Workers who are temporarily or permanently absent from their jobs and are not being paid are not counted as employed, even if they are continuing to receive benefits. The length of the reference period does vary across the respondents in the establishment survey; one-third of businesses have a weekly pay period, slightly over 40 percent a bi-weekly, about 20 percent semi-monthly, and a small amount monthly.


Technical Note

This release presents nonfarm payroll employment estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program. The CES survey is a Federal-State cooperative endeavor between State employment security agencies and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Definitions. Employment data refer to persons on establishment payrolls who receive pay for any part of the pay period that includes the 12th of the month. Persons are counted at their place of work rather than at their place of residence; those appearing on more than one payroll are counted on each payroll. Industries are classified on the basis of their principal activity in accordance with the 2017 version of the North American Industry Classification System.

Method of estimation. CES State and Area employment data are produced using several estimation procedures. Where possible these data are produced using a "weighted link relative" estimation technique in which a ratio of current-month weighted employment to that of the previous-month weighted employment is computed from a sample of establishments reporting for both months. The estimates of employment for the current month are then obtained by multiplying these ratios by the previous month's employment estimates. The weighted link relative technique is utilized for data series where the sample size meets certain statistical criteria.

For some employment series, the sample of establishments is very small or highly variable. In these cases, a model-based approach is used in estimation. These models use the direct sample estimates (described above), combined with forecasts of historical (benchmarked) data to decrease volatility in estimation. Two different models (Fay-Herriot Model and Small Domain Model) are used depending on the industry level being estimated. For more detailed information about each model, refer to the BLS Handbook of Methods.

Annual revisions. Employment estimates are adjusted annually to a complete count of jobs, called benchmarks, derived principally from tax reports that are submitted by employers who are covered under state unemployment insurance (UI) laws. The benchmark information is used to adjust the monthly estimates between the new benchmark and the preceding one and also to establish the level of employment for the new benchmark month. Thus, the benchmarking process establishes the level of employment, and the sample is used to measure the month-to-month changes in the level for the subsequent months.

Reliability of the estimates. The estimates presented in this release are based on sample surveys, administrative data, and modeling and, thus, are subject to sampling and other types of errors. Sampling error is a measure of sampling variability–that is, variation that occurs by chance because a sample rather than the entire population is surveyed. Survey data also are subject to nonsampling errors, such as those which can be introduced into the data collection and processing operations. Estimates not directly derived from sample surveys are subject to additional errors resulting from the specific estimation processes used. The sums of individual items may not always equal the totals shown in the same tables because of rounding.

Employment estimates. Measures of sampling error for the total nonfarm employment series are available for metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions at www.bls.gov/sae/additional-resources/reliability-of-state-and-area-estimates.htm. Measures of sampling error for more detailed series at the area and division level are available upon request. Measures of sampling error for states down to the supersector level are available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/sae/additional-resources/reliability-of-state-and-area-estimates.htm. Measures of nonsampling error are not available for the areas contained in this release. Information on recent benchmark revisions is available online at www.bls.gov/sae/publications/benchmark-article/annual-benchmark-article.pdf

Area definitions. The substate area data published in this release reflect the delineations issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, dated April 10, 2018. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at www.bls.gov/lau/lausmsa.htm.

The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller Counties.

Additional information

More complete information on the technical procedures used to develop these estimates and additional data appear in Employment and Earnings, which is available online at www.bls.gov/opub/ee/home.htm. Detailed industry employment data for metropolitan areas from the CES program are available from the State and Area Employment databases at www.bls.gov/sae/data/home.htm.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry supersector, United States and Houston metropolitan area, not seasonally adjusted (numbers in thousands)
Area and IndustryApr.
2019
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020(p)
Apr. 2019 to
Apr. 2020(p)
Net changePercent change

United States

Total nonfarm

150,430151,076150,583131,071-19,359-12.9

Mining and logging

732700697646-86-11.7

Construction

7,3777,2767,3286,544-833-11.3

Manufacturing

12,77512,79512,76011,432-1,343-10.5

Trade, transportation, and utilities

27,42527,48127,45924,508-2,917-10.6

Information

2,8322,8812,8762,629-203-7.2

Financial activities

8,6788,7978,7948,536-142-1.6

Professional and business services

21,16921,24621,18619,264-1,905-9.0

Education and health services

24,20624,71124,60022,111-2,095-8.7

Leisure and hospitality

16,40616,26415,9658,655-7,751-47.2

Other services

5,8825,8895,8664,631-1,251-21.3

Government

22,94823,03623,05222,115-833-3.6

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area

Total nonfarm

3,139.53,203.93,185.92,873.8-265.7-8.5

Mining and logging

80.875.275.366.6-14.2-17.6

Construction

235.0244.2238.1215.2-19.8-8.4

Manufacturing

235.9232.0230.3218.6-17.3-7.3

Trade, transportation, and utilities

620.7635.5632.9596.0-24.7-4.0

Information

32.532.732.730.1-2.4-7.4

Financial activities

165.1167.5167.3162.1-3.0-1.8

Professional and business services

501.9514.9512.6488.8-13.1-2.6

Education and health services

402.8416.8417.4367.2-35.6-8.8

Leisure and hospitality

331.7339.6331.3214.2-117.5-35.4

Other services

115.6119.3120.4100.0-15.6-13.5

Government

417.5426.2427.6415.0-2.5-0.6

(p) preliminary


Table 2. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry supersector, 12 largest metropolitan areas, not seasonally adjusted (numbers in thousands)
Area and IndustryApr.
2019
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020(p)
Apr. 2019 to
Apr. 2020(p)
Net changePercent change

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

Total nonfarm

2,828.82,866.12,855.42,561.6-267.2-9.4

Mining and logging

1.61.51.61.5-0.1-6.3

Construction

129.1129.7128.9124.1-5.0-3.9

Manufacturing

171.7172.1170.5151.4-20.3-11.8

Trade, transportation, and utilities

595.9604.3607.1579.9-16.0-2.7

Information

100.0101.3101.9100.70.70.7

Financial activities

175.7178.6179.0169.2-6.5-3.7

Professional and business services

543.5548.6543.1495.3-48.2-8.9

Education and health services

367.9384.9385.6350.9-17.0-4.6

Leisure and hospitality

302.8302.1293.8177.4-125.4-41.4

Other services

104.1104.3104.880.8-23.3-22.4

Government

336.5338.7339.1330.4-6.1-1.8

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH

Total nonfarm

2,799.92,781.82,758.32,332.2-467.7-16.7

Mining, logging, and construction

120.0113.6114.076.6-43.4-36.2

Manufacturing

187.4186.6185.5171.2-16.2-8.6

Trade, transportation, and utilities

419.5420.2418.2339.7-79.8-19.0

Information

79.482.982.981.92.53.1

Financial activities

184.9186.9187.2184.4-0.5-0.3

Professional and business services

514.3509.2509.5479.4-34.9-6.8

Education and health services

597.8598.8595.0536.1-61.7-10.3

Leisure and hospitality

274.2263.5248.397.3-176.9-64.5

Other services

103.4101.198.762.1-41.3-39.9

Government

319.0319.0319.0303.5-15.5-4.9

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

Total nonfarm

4,729.94,691.64,661.64,119.0-610.9-12.9

Mining and logging

1.91.61.81.7-0.2-10.5

Construction

177.7161.0164.2155.1-22.6-12.7

Manufacturing

419.3413.3412.0377.3-42.0-10.0

Trade, transportation, and utilities

937.3934.8929.5843.0-94.3-10.1

Information

78.579.379.177.0-1.5-1.9

Financial activities

315.8317.8316.5310.1-5.7-1.8

Professional and business services

824.2815.3801.7741.3-82.9-10.1

Education and health services

739.9754.6751.3681.2-58.7-7.9

Leisure and hospitality

487.2466.7456.6248.4-238.8-49.0

Other services

199.8197.7197.9162.1-37.7-18.9

Government

548.3549.5551.0521.8-26.5-4.8

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Total nonfarm

3,745.13,845.13,816.63,462.1-283.0-7.6

Mining, logging, and construction

224.0235.7232.9221.6-2.4-1.1

Manufacturing

287.2288.7288.1277.6-9.6-3.3

Trade, transportation, and utilities

779.6796.5798.6757.5-22.1-2.8

Information

81.683.182.580.2-1.4-1.7

Financial activities

314.5326.6326.6322.68.12.6

Professional and business services

632.3653.1651.6594.0-38.3-6.1

Education and health services

460.8475.6467.3416.1-44.7-9.7

Leisure and hospitality

392.0402.1385.3238.4-153.6-39.2

Other services

126.7129.7126.9110.0-16.7-13.2

Government

446.4454.0456.8444.1-2.3-0.5

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

Total nonfarm

3,139.53,203.93,185.92,873.8-265.7-8.5

Mining and logging

80.875.275.366.6-14.2-17.6

Construction

235.0244.2238.1215.2-19.8-8.4

Manufacturing

235.9232.0230.3218.6-17.3-7.3

Trade, transportation, and utilities

620.7635.5632.9596.0-24.7-4.0

Information

32.532.732.730.1-2.4-7.4

Financial activities

165.1167.5167.3162.1-3.0-1.8

Professional and business services

501.9514.9512.6488.8-13.1-2.6

Education and health services

402.8416.8417.4367.2-35.6-8.8

Leisure and hospitality

331.7339.6331.3214.2-117.5-35.4

Other services

115.6119.3120.4100.0-15.6-13.5

Government

417.5426.2427.6415.0-2.5-0.6

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

Total nonfarm

6,214.26,310.26,205.45,298.0-916.2-14.7

Mining and logging

2.42.32.32.2-0.2-8.3

Construction

253.8258.0249.5222.5-31.3-12.3

Manufacturing

499.1495.3486.4425.0-74.1-14.8

Trade, transportation, and utilities

1,098.51,110.81,102.2936.4-162.1-14.8

Information

233.0266.8260.0235.12.10.9

Financial activities

339.1345.8346.9324.6-14.5-4.3

Professional and business services

964.4974.0957.6842.5-121.9-12.6

Education and health services

1,073.71,100.21,091.5969.6-104.1-9.7

Leisure and hospitality

771.8771.2732.8450.3-321.5-41.7

Other services

210.0210.9195.5141.5-68.5-32.6

Government

768.4774.9780.7748.3-20.1-2.6

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

Total nonfarm

2,724.12,749.22,726.92,366.0-358.1-13.1

Mining and logging

0.80.80.80.80.00.0

Construction

140.3141.5141.0130.7-9.6-6.8

Manufacturing

91.290.490.379.9-11.3-12.4

Trade, transportation, and utilities

609.5618.0617.7557.2-52.3-8.6

Information

51.051.151.047.7-3.3-6.5

Financial activities

188.4190.3191.1187.8-0.6-0.3

Professional and business services

450.1455.3454.0395.1-55.0-12.2

Education and health services

412.2412.7412.9372.7-39.5-9.6

Leisure and hospitality

338.4344.8323.1180.6-157.8-46.6

Other services

121.4122.3120.597.6-23.8-19.6

Government

320.8322.0324.5315.9-4.9-1.5

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

Total nonfarm

9,954.69,910.09,785.18,005.0-1,949.6-19.6

Mining, logging, and construction

417.1395.3400.4252.6-164.5-39.4

Manufacturing

360.7358.7359.0292.0-68.7-19.0

Trade, transportation, and utilities

1,716.81,707.11,692.81,329.7-387.1-22.5

Information

293.9290.6293.1282.4-11.5-3.9

Financial activities

782.9783.5763.6742.1-40.8-5.2

Professional and business services

1,606.51,598.31,594.41,386.2-220.3-13.7

Education and health services

2,081.52,109.22,094.51,828.2-253.3-12.2

Leisure and hospitality

929.7898.1839.5302.8-626.9-67.4

Other services

426.9430.8422.5293.1-133.8-31.3

Government

1,338.61,338.41,325.31,295.9-42.7-3.2

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

Total nonfarm

2,978.82,968.12,959.02,521.0-457.8-15.4

Mining, logging, and construction

120.5112.5112.872.6-47.9-39.8

Manufacturing

183.3182.7182.3169.5-13.8-7.5

Trade, transportation, and utilities

521.7520.4522.2451.2-70.5-13.5

Information

48.749.449.446.5-2.2-4.5

Financial activities

216.7217.6217.5210.8-5.9-2.7

Professional and business services

471.8470.5470.0435.3-36.5-7.7

Education and health services

675.2682.4679.7599.9-75.3-11.2

Leisure and hospitality

276.6265.9258.4113.5-163.1-59.0

Other services

122.0121.5120.683.4-38.6-31.6

Government

342.3345.2346.1338.3-4.0-1.2

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

Total nonfarm

2,166.42,231.42,217.42,002.4-164.0-7.6

Mining and logging

3.53.63.63.60.12.9

Construction

133.0137.6136.7134.51.51.1

Manufacturing

131.7133.9134.1131.70.00.0

Trade, transportation, and utilities

402.9416.5418.4369.6-33.3-8.3

Information

39.740.840.436.4-3.3-8.3

Financial activities

200.8204.8202.5200.6-0.2-0.1

Professional and business services

363.3371.3367.7343.7-19.6-5.4

Education and health services

336.1353.3352.1323.7-12.4-3.7

Leisure and hospitality

236.1242.2235.9145.6-90.5-38.3

Other services

70.270.371.061.8-8.4-12.0

Government

249.1257.1255.0251.22.10.8

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

Total nonfarm

2,465.32,489.12,467.12,115.6-349.7-14.2

Mining and logging

0.30.30.30.30.00.0

Construction

124.7123.6123.290.2-34.5-27.7

Manufacturing

144.3143.6143.9125.7-18.6-12.9

Trade, transportation, and utilities

367.8369.5365.9313.1-54.7-14.9

Information

124.6130.4129.6128.53.93.1

Financial activities

145.4147.6147.5145.50.10.1

Professional and business services

496.0508.3502.1460.3-35.7-7.2

Education and health services

366.0371.6371.4324.7-41.3-11.3

Leisure and hospitality

281.9281.2270.5151.0-130.9-46.4

Other services

88.488.185.360.3-28.1-31.8

Government

325.9324.9327.4316.0-9.9-3.0

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Total nonfarm

3,341.93,361.13,343.73,040.9-301.0-9.0

Mining, logging, and construction

163.7163.6163.7156.3-7.4-4.5

Manufacturing

56.658.757.253.3-3.3-5.8

Trade, transportation, and utilities

401.7403.7405.3357.2-44.5-11.1

Information

75.978.177.673.9-2.0-2.6

Financial activities

159.9162.3161.4158.7-1.2-0.8

Professional and business services

774.4784.3778.4763.6-10.8-1.4

Education and health services

452.9452.7449.3396.5-56.4-12.5

Leisure and hospitality

336.2330.3321.5179.2-157.0-46.7

Other services

209.7211.0211.1201.2-8.5-4.1

Government

710.9716.4718.2701.0-9.9-1.4

(p) preliminary

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, June 03, 2020