The shale oil boom is largely the reason Houston is number one on Forbes’ “America’s Fastest-Growing Cities” annual list adding more than 667,800 new jobs to the economy since 2005.
Known as the “Energy Capital of the World,” its 4.5 percent year-over-year job growth rate is among the fastest growing in the US.
The top oil service providers, Houston-based Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) and the newly merged Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) and Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI) lead the way in assisting medium annual pay for college-educated workers to $71,900, fourth in Americas 100 largest metro statistical areas.
On top of that, Houston’s economy grew at a 3.52 percent clip in 2014.
Texas placed five cities in the top ten, including Houston (1), Austin (2), Dallas (3), Fort Worth (8), and San Antonio (10), more than any other state on the list. Mainly due to the shale boom in horizontal drilling and fracking.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), this year Texas produced 3.18 million barrels a day for the first time since the late 1970s. That is a 22 percent increase from last year’s impressive production of 2.6 million bpd.
Houston grew by half a million residents over the past four years according to the Greater Houston Partnership’s (GHP) annual Houston Employment Forecast.
The city will add another 125,000 residents and 62,900 new jobs in 2015 despite the negative impact of declining oil prices.
Forbes’ thinks another city may take the top spot in terms of growth in 2016, but expects Houston’s economy will maintain a decent growth rate. Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president, research, at the Greater Houston Partnership states, “When oil prices are low, Houston’s economy grows. When oil prices are high, Houston’s economy booms.”