I hope we had a chance to see each and every one of you at our Crawfish Festival this month! Speaking of this month, I usually take the March President’s letter to throw some numbers at you – sort of a benchmark on Houston. So here’s this year’s data!
The Greater Houston Metropolitan Area, which includes the Woodlands and Sugar Land, as of 2016 is home to 6.8 million people. The City of Houston itself is at 2.1 million people, and continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in the US. We anticipate about 160,000 new people to move into Houston in 2017.
Oil is trading at $54 a barrel as of February 21st, increasing steadily from January 2016’s $29. The Dow Jones in February broke the 20,000 mark for the first time ever, and seems to be having a record year thus far.
Unemployment rose in 2016 to 5.3% in the Houston GMA, but seems to be trickling downward in 2017, at a very slow rate. Average income rose all of 3 cents, and the average work week held steady at 34.5 hours.
What does this mean for us in the Heights? There will continue to be people who want to live in our beautiful community, and while spending may still be sluggish in 2017 there is hope on the horizon. The best thing each of us can do is keep a steady hand at the helm and not react to negative alarmism or unrealistic pipe dreams of prosperity. Steady as she goes my membership. Steady as she goes.
Your Chamber President