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News Release Information

20-2025-DAL
Thursday, December 03, 2020

Contacts

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

Houston Area Employment — October 2020

Total nonfarm employment in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 151,600 over the year ending in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted that the local rate of job loss, 4.8 percent, compared to the 6.0-percent national decline. This was the seventh consecutive month of over-the-year employment declines in the Houston area. (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, employment declined in 10 out of 11 supersectors. (See chart 2.) Leisure and hospitality had the largest job loss (-45,800). Within the local supersector, food services and drinking places had the largest decline, losing 27,300 jobs over the year. Employment in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry fell by 12,800, a decrease of 34.2 percent since October 2019. The 13.7-percent rate of job loss in Houston’s leisure and hospitality supersector compared to the 19.7-percent loss nationally.

Houston’s second-largest employment loss occurred in the construction supersector, down 19,800 jobs from October 2019 to October 2020. Employment declined in all the published industries, with the largest loss in heavy and civil engineering construction (-8,400). Local employment in construction fell 8.3 percent over the year, while U.S. employment declined 2.5 percent.

The manufacturing supersector in Houston lost 19,100 jobs in the year ending in October 2020. Local job losses were concentrated in durable goods manufacturing, which declined by 17,800. Non-durable goods manufacturing employment also fell, down by 1,300. However, within the sector, employment in petroleum and coals products manufacturing rose by 1,500. The local 8.2-percent rate of job loss in manufacturing compared to the 4.6-percent U.S. decline.

The mining and logging supersector in Houston lost 15,600 jobs over the year, with the majority of the losses in the support activities for mining industry (-12,400). Employment in the Houston mining and logging supersector fell 19.6 percent over the year, while the national rate of job loss was 15.3 percent.

Employment in Houston’s largest supersector–trade, transportation, and utilities–fell by 15,000 over the year. The largest contributor was wholesale trade, where employment declined by 15,100. Job losses in retail trade totaled 4,400. Despite an annual employment loss in airline transportation (-2,200), the sub-sector of transportation, warehousing, and utilities rose by 4,500 over the year. Locally, the trade, transportation, and utilities supersector’s rate of job loss was 2.4 percent, compared to the 3.5-percent national loss.

The other services supersector (which includes repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, membership associations, and private households) lost 12,800 jobs in the local area since October 2019. The rates of job loss in Houston and the U.S. were 11.1 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.

Houston’s education and health services supersector lost 10,500 jobs from October a year ago. The healthcare and social assistance sub-sector was responsible for the entire loss. Employment in the education and health services supersector fell 2.6 percent locally, compared to the 4.4-percent decline nationally.

Over-the-year job losses were smaller in three of the four remaining supersectors: government (-7,300), financial activities (-3,400), and information (-3,100). Employment in professional and business services was little changed.

Employment in the 12 largest metropolitan areas

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land was 1 of the nation’s 12 largest metropolitan statistical areas in October 2020. All 12 areas had over-the-year job losses during the period, with the rates of job loss in 7 areas exceeding the national decrease of 6.0 percent. New York-Newark-Jersey City had the fastest rate of job loss (-10.1 percent), followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward (-9.8 percent). Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington had the slowest rate of job loss, down 2.3 percent, followed by Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (-2.4 percent). (See chart 3 and table 2.)

New York lost the largest number of jobs over the year (-1,017,600), followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim (-520,000). The smallest employment loss occurred in Phoenix (-52,100). Annual job losses in the remaining nine metropolitan areas ranged from 343,300 in Chicago-Naperville-Elgin to 89,800 in Dallas.

Over the year, the leisure and hospitality supersector lost the most jobs in all 12 metropolitan areas. New York had the largest loss of jobs in this sector (-339,300), followed by Los Angeles (-204,600). Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell had the smallest job loss for the leisure and hospitality sector (-36,500). The remaining nine areas had job losses in this industry sector ranging from 113,000 in Chicago to 37,600 in Phoenix.

The financial activities supersector added the most jobs in three areas: Dallas, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, and San Francisco. Trade, transportation, and utilities gained the most jobs in two other areas: Atlanta and Phoenix.

Metropolitan area employment data for November 2020 are scheduled to be released on Friday, December 18, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on October 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. Typically, reports with zero employment are not included in estimation. For the September final and October preliminary estimates, CES included a portion of these reports in the estimates and made modifications to the birth-death model. In addition for both months, the establishment survey included a portion of the reports that returned to reporting positive employment from reporting zero employment. 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 on 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 Industry Oct.
2019
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020
Oct.
2020(p)
Oct. 2019 to
Oct. 2020(p)
Net change Percent change

United States

Total nonfarm

152,570 140,700 141,854 143,459 -9,111 -6.0

Mining and logging

743 626 627 629 -114 -15.3

Construction

7,720 7,465 7,424 7,528 -192 -2.5

Manufacturing

12,820 12,200 12,208 12,229 -591 -4.6

Trade, transportation, and utilities

27,793 26,397 26,442 26,810 -983 -3.5

Information

2,875 2,600 2,625 2,637 -238 -8.3

Financial activities

8,804 8,704 8,682 8,722 -82 -0.9

Professional and business services

21,676 20,215 20,266 20,627 -1,049 -4.8

Education and health services

24,561 22,839 23,138 23,472 -1,089 -4.4

Leisure and hospitality

16,648 13,226 13,207 13,365 -3,283 -19.7

Other services

5,907 5,445 5,444 5,505 -402 -6.8

Government

23,023 20,983 21,791 21,935 -1,088 -4.7

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

Total nonfarm

3,181.9 2,971.9 2,991.6 3,030.3 -151.6 -4.8

Mining and logging

79.7 60.9 62.8 64.1 -15.6 -19.6

Construction

240.0 215.9 215.8 220.2 -19.8 -8.3

Manufacturing

233.6 213.7 214.7 214.5 -19.1 -8.2

Trade, transportation, and utilities

630.5 610.2 607.7 615.5 -15.0 -2.4

Information

32.4 28.9 29.1 29.3 -3.1 -9.6

Financial activities

167.8 164.1 162.2 164.4 -3.4 -2.0

Professional and business services

515.3 508.9 508.6 516.1 0.8 0.2

Education and health services

409.6 398.1 396.5 399.1 -10.5 -2.6

Leisure and hospitality

335.5 280.9 283.9 289.7 -45.8 -13.7

Other services

115.7 104.0 98.9 102.9 -12.8 -11.1

Government

421.8 386.3 411.4 414.5 -7.3 -1.7

(p) preliminary

Table 2. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry supersector, 12 largest metropolitan areas, not seasonally adjusted (numbers in thousands)
Area and Industry Oct.
2019
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020
Oct.
2020(p)
Oct. 2019 to
Oct. 2020(p)
Net change Percent change

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

Total nonfarm

2,878.5 2,734.6 2,759.3 2,787.9 -90.6 -3.1

Mining and logging

1.5 1.5 1.5 1.6 0.1 6.7

Construction

130.7 128.7 131.0 130.1 -0.6 -0.5

Manufacturing

172.8 160.3 161.3 163.2 -9.6 -5.6

Trade, transportation, and utilities

604.6 598.5 602.6 607.5 2.9 0.5

Information

101.6 92.5 94.3 95.3 -6.3 -6.2

Financial activities

179.0 172.7 173.9 176.6 -2.4 -1.3

Professional and business services

555.6 523.0 525.0 532.3 -23.3 -4.2

Education and health services

379.3 370.7 374.0 378.1 -1.2 -0.3

Leisure and hospitality

310.8 261.5 266.3 274.3 -36.5 -11.7

Other services

104.5 98.4 98.5 97.7 -6.8 -6.5

Government

338.1 326.8 330.9 331.2 -6.9 -2.0

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH

Total nonfarm

2,837.1 2,524.0 2,551.1 2,576.1 -261.0 -9.2

Mining, logging, and construction

127.4 111.2 111.4 112.8 -14.6 -11.5

Manufacturing

187.9 176.2 176.3 176.8 -11.1 -5.9

Trade, transportation, and utilities

426.0 383.8 381.6 390.7 -35.3 -8.3

Information

81.9 80.9 80.4 79.7 -2.2 -2.7

Financial activities

186.3 185.5 185.4 185.6 -0.7 -0.4

Professional and business services

523.4 499.5 497.8 505.0 -18.4 -3.5

Education and health services

600.4 539.1 549.6 555.9 -44.5 -7.4

Leisure and hospitality

281.7 191.0 182.5 180.9 -100.8 -35.8

Other services

103.7 79.5 80.0 80.8 -22.9 -22.1

Government

318.4 277.3 306.1 307.9 -10.5 -3.3

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

Total nonfarm

4,808.4 4,432.4 4,438.1 4,465.1 -343.3 -7.1

Mining and logging

1.9 1.7 1.7 1.6 -0.3 -15.8

Construction

190.3 181.4 178.5 182.1 -8.2 -4.3

Manufacturing

416.4 400.8 398.5 398.9 -17.5 -4.2

Trade, transportation, and utilities

951.6 906.1 907.8 917.7 -33.9 -3.6

Information

79.5 75.3 75.7 75.0 -4.5 -5.7

Financial activities

320.4 311.2 309.7 311.6 -8.8 -2.7

Professional and business services

851.7 792.2 785.8 796.8 -54.9 -6.4

Education and health services

750.2 698.1 706.1 713.1 -37.1 -4.9

Leisure and hospitality

494.5 386.4 381.0 381.5 -113.0 -22.9

Other services

198.3 181.6 181.3 181.0 -17.3 -8.7

Government

553.6 497.6 512.0 505.8 -47.8 -8.6

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Total nonfarm

3,825.0 3,658.7 3,673.3 3,735.2 -89.8 -2.3

Mining, logging, and construction

232.9 228.9 229.0 234.7 1.8 0.8

Manufacturing

285.8 278.9 280.0 281.4 -4.4 -1.5

Trade, transportation, and utilities

804.9 787.7 789.2 806.5 1.6 0.2

Information

82.3 79.3 79.5 80.2 -2.1 -2.6

Financial activities

321.5 332.0 331.2 334.2 12.7 4.0

Professional and business services

647.0 646.2 645.2 654.9 7.9 1.2

Education and health services

469.5 434.7 434.5 440.2 -29.3 -6.2

Leisure and hospitality

399.4 322.2 322.7 332.2 -67.2 -16.8

Other services

129.6 120.9 119.1 121.7 -7.9 -6.1

Government

452.1 427.9 442.9 449.2 -2.9 -0.6

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

Total nonfarm

3,181.9 2,971.9 2,991.6 3,030.3 -151.6 -4.8

Mining and logging

79.7 60.9 62.8 64.1 -15.6 -19.6

Construction

240.0 215.9 215.8 220.2 -19.8 -8.3

Manufacturing

233.6 213.7 214.7 214.5 -19.1 -8.2

Trade, transportation, and utilities

630.5 610.2 607.7 615.5 -15.0 -2.4

Information

32.4 28.9 29.1 29.3 -3.1 -9.6

Financial activities

167.8 164.1 162.2 164.4 -3.4 -2.0

Professional and business services

515.3 508.9 508.6 516.1 0.8 0.2

Education and health services

409.6 398.1 396.5 399.1 -10.5 -2.6

Leisure and hospitality

335.5 280.9 283.9 289.7 -45.8 -13.7

Other services

115.7 104.0 98.9 102.9 -12.8 -11.1

Government

421.8 386.3 411.4 414.5 -7.3 -1.7

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

Total nonfarm

6,293.1 5,572.8 5,659.9 5,773.1 -520.0 -8.3

Mining and logging

2.4 2.2 2.2 2.2 -0.2 -8.3

Construction

260.3 252.3 253.6 261.8 1.5 0.6

Manufacturing

497.6 454.7 458.2 458.4 -39.2 -7.9

Trade, transportation, and utilities

1,111.2 1,032.9 1,042.4 1,060.9 -50.3 -4.5

Information

245.2 209.2 208.5 213.1 -32.1 -13.1

Financial activities

343.5 335.8 332.6 337.5 -6.0 -1.7

Professional and business services

982.0 895.9 903.3 920.6 -61.4 -6.3

Education and health services

1,091.6 1,017.5 1,027.4 1,043.2 -48.4 -4.4

Leisure and hospitality

778.7 526.7 545.3 574.1 -204.6 -26.3

Other services

213.1 162.3 164.5 169.0 -44.1 -20.7

Government

767.5 683.3 721.9 732.3 -35.2 -4.6

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

Total nonfarm

2,729.5 2,493.8 2,517.9 2,550.5 -179.0 -6.6

Mining and logging

0.7 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.1 14.3

Construction

143.5 138.3 137.8 138.9 -4.6 -3.2

Manufacturing

91.2 85.7 87.5 89.0 -2.2 -2.4

Trade, transportation, and utilities

617.9 581.0 581.6 591.4 -26.5 -4.3

Information

50.7 46.9 47.2 47.8 -2.9 -5.7

Financial activities

190.3 189.3 190.2 190.9 0.6 0.3

Professional and business services

452.6 424.4 427.2 431.9 -20.7 -4.6

Education and health services

413.5 380.0 383.8 387.2 -26.3 -6.4

Leisure and hospitality

327.4 241.9 248.7 260.5 -66.9 -20.4

Other services

119.8 108.3 108.5 109.0 -10.8 -9.0

Government

321.9 297.2 304.6 303.1 -18.8 -5.8

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

Total nonfarm

10,052.5 8,751.7 8,934.2 9,034.9 -1,017.6 -10.1

Mining, logging, and construction

422.8 380.2 382.4 383.5 -39.3 -9.3

Manufacturing

357.9 327.9 326.4 328.1 -29.8 -8.3

Trade, transportation, and utilities

1,733.6 1,536.8 1,560.3 1,587.2 -146.4 -8.4

Information

296.7 283.9 283.4 287.0 -9.7 -3.3

Financial activities

789.6 760.0 756.9 753.0 -36.6 -4.6

Professional and business services

1,632.3 1,450.2 1,453.5 1,475.8 -156.5 -9.6

Education and health services

2,095.3 1,853.6 1,891.3 1,939.1 -156.2 -7.5

Leisure and hospitality

943.9 586.6 598.0 604.6 -339.3 -35.9

Other services

431.1 367.1 370.3 372.4 -58.7 -13.6

Government

1,349.3 1,205.4 1,311.7 1,304.2 -45.1 -3.3

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

Total nonfarm

3,005.2 2,729.6 2,765.7 2,804.6 -200.6 -6.7

Mining, logging, and construction

124.3 109.2 108.2 109.3 -15.0 -12.1

Manufacturing

182.8 175.6 174.6 174.4 -8.4 -4.6

Trade, transportation, and utilities

530.6 493.4 498.5 504.7 -25.9 -4.9

Information

49.6 46.9 46.4 46.7 -2.9 -5.8

Financial activities

218.5 211.7 210.9 211.2 -7.3 -3.3

Professional and business services

475.2 448.0 444.2 452.7 -22.5 -4.7

Education and health services

678.2 625.0 643.4 656.9 -21.3 -3.1

Leisure and hospitality

278.0 196.1 197.8 204.7 -73.3 -26.4

Other services

122.8 107.9 107.3 108.1 -14.7 -12.0

Government

345.2 315.8 334.4 335.9 -9.3 -2.7

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

Total nonfarm

2,216.9 2,099.6 2,130.1 2,164.8 -52.1 -2.4

Mining and logging

3.6 3.5 3.3 3.3 -0.3 -8.3

Construction

136.5 132.7 134.6 136.6 0.1 0.1

Manufacturing

134.5 130.3 130.9 131.2 -3.3 -2.5

Trade, transportation, and utilities

413.0 413.2 417.5 422.4 9.4 2.3

Information

40.9 38.4 38.1 38.1 -2.8 -6.8

Financial activities

206.4 204.3 205.0 206.9 0.5 0.2

Professional and business services

375.7 345.5 350.3 362.5 -13.2 -3.5

Education and health services

345.8 337.0 339.5 344.7 -1.1 -0.3

Leisure and hospitality

234.7 180.9 189.9 197.1 -37.6 -16.0

Other services

71.8 71.7 72.1 73.0 1.2 1.7

Government

254.0 242.1 248.9 249.0 -5.0 -2.0

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

Total nonfarm

2,502.2 2,214.0 2,224.9 2,255.9 -246.3 -9.8

Mining and logging

0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.0

Construction

130.1 115.4 117.1 118.1 -12.0 -9.2

Manufacturing

143.3 127.0 127.4 127.4 -15.9 -11.1

Trade, transportation, and utilities

373.3 338.0 340.1 340.9 -32.4 -8.7

Information

130.4 120.9 119.4 118.6 -11.8 -9.0

Financial activities

148.0 147.8 148.4 150.0 2.0 1.4

Professional and business services

509.5 485.5 482.4 490.1 -19.4 -3.8

Education and health services

367.6 335.7 338.8 343.0 -24.6 -6.7

Leisure and hospitality

286.5 187.2 190.0 200.1 -86.4 -30.2

Other services

88.3 69.6 70.3 72.3 -16.0 -18.1

Government

324.9 286.6 290.7 295.1 -29.8 -9.2

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

Total nonfarm

3,377.2 3,142.6 3,172.0 3,203.5 -173.7 -5.1

Mining, logging, and construction

166.6 166.7 165.9 167.3 0.7 0.4

Manufacturing

57.4 54.3 54.9 54.6 -2.8 -4.9

Trade, transportation, and utilities

408.9 383.1 385.6 391.7 -17.2 -4.2

Information

77.6 73.5 73.6 73.8 -3.8 -4.9

Financial activities

162.2 158.3 159.5 159.6 -2.6 -1.6

Professional and business services

787.4 770.1 765.3 772.8 -14.6 -1.9

Education and health services

452.0 407.0 413.4 418.2 -33.8 -7.5

Leisure and hospitality

335.5 241.6 249.2 257.7 -77.8 -23.2

Other services

211.5 204.3 204.1 203.3 -8.2 -3.9

Government

718.1 683.7 700.5 704.5 -13.6 -1.9

(p) preliminary

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, December 03, 2020