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Houston unemployment rate tops national average

New jobs pay less

Simply counting jobs, however, only tells part of the story. The new jobs being added pay less, on average, than the ones being lost. A Houston-area worker in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction earns about $3,226 per week, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Manufacturing pays an average $1,671 a week.

In contrast, workers in educational services make an average $901 per week, and in health care, $1,062.

The loss of these high-paying jobs appears to be rippling through the local economy. Car sales in Houston plunged 33 percent in April from a year earlier after rising to an all-time high at the end of 2015, according to the Infonation, a Sugar Land car data firm. Home sales are flat overall, and starting to decline in close-in neighborhoods, like the Heights and Galleria, and suburbs like The Woodlands, which benefited most from new hires in the high-rolling energy industry.

"Eventually the gravity of low oil will take its toll on those non-energy-related parts of the economy," explained Parker Harvey, regional economist at the Houston-Galveston Area Council. (Houston Chronicle 2016)

"It will imperative that Texas continue to seek long-term sustainable employment for its citizens." Byron A. Bradford 

Committee to Elect Byron Bradford
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