Metro of the Month: Houston
The recent decline in oil prices has slowed growth in the energy-heavy Houston region, but unemployment in the area remains low as other industries have expanded.
The health care, construction and professional service sectors have all seen steady gains for jobs in 2015 in the Houston area, which spans nine counties in southeast Texas. Local economic development officials are also trying to increase the region’s visibility overseas – trade delegations have been sent in recent years to Germany, China, Panama and Brazil, in order to further diversify the local economy.
India is also a highly-targeted country for local commerce. More than 700 Houston-area companies have business or related trade connections with India, and there was $4.7 billion worth of trade conducted between that country and Houston-area interests in 2014.
Overall, Houston is home to plenty of big businesses – 26 companies on the Fortune 500 list are based locally. Among them are oil industry giant ConocoPhillips, food distributor Sysco and engineering and construction services company KBR. One of the region’s largest employers is the Houston-based Texas Medical Center. Its network of operations spans 1,300 acres and 54 facilities, and it collectively employs 106,000 people in the Houston region.
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