Fall 2015 Symposium

Thursday, November 12, 2015
"Houston Job Growth Stumbles As Oil Markets Swoon in 2015: Where Now?"
Featuring: Robert W. Gilmer, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Regional Forecasting
Event Details

Hyatt Regency Hotel (Imperial Ballroom), 1200 Louisiana, Houston, Texas 77002 (Map)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Registration/Name Badge
pickup: 11 a.m.

Luncheon & Presentation:
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Limited seating is available at the door for $125/seat. Please visit the special assistance table in the lobby of the hotel for this seating on the morning of the event.

The definitive downturn in oil prices began last November, when OPEC refused to help clear world oil markets by reducing production. By spring, we knew that any hope of a quick and easy oil price adjustment had evaporated. By late summer, oil prices were mired near $40 per barrel, with modest increases in demand offset by a sustained wave of oil brought to market by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Texas, and – potentially – Iran. Oil price forecasts were quickly revised down for 2016 and beyond. The fall 2015 Economic Symposium will focus on oil markets, and the timing and prospects of any definitive turn in oil’s price. But especially, we turn our attention to the implications of low oil prices for Houston’s economy. Lay-offs in oil-related industries quickly turned off Houston’s job growth machine in 2015, and the metro added no new jobs in the first half of 2015. Momentum in the local job market, built up by the past decade of powerful growth, is rapidly waning, and secondary industries like real estate, construction, retail, and personal services may soon begin to feel the pinch. We will look carefully at the mixed bag that is made up of single- and multi-family housing, as well as office, retail, and industrial real estate. It is not all gloom and doom, of course, as the US economy seems to be successfully navigating severe winter weather, a strong dollar, and global turmoil, while the petrochemical boom continues to grow in east Houston. Our bottom line: How will it all add up for Houston’s economic outlook in 2016 and beyond?