DALLAS, TX / ACCESSWIRE / February 16, 2017 / Two months since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) historic agreement to stabilize the market by reducing crude production for the first time in eight years, per-barrel prices have nearly doubled after dropping to a low of $26 in February of last year. In Greater Houston, the heart of U.S. oil production, the deal has accelerated the industry's recovery from a two-year downturn and spurred local economies. Texas real estate expert and CEO of Western Rim Property Services, the state's largest affordable luxury property developer, Marcus Hiles predicts that as Houston based energy companies continue to hire and grow in 2017, communities throughout the metropolitan area will see higher employment rates and corresponding wage increases.
The day after the members of OPEC agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day, U.S. crude saw its biggest daily price gain in more than seven years, climbing by nearly ten percent to $49.44. "This means 2017 will be a better year for oil and gas activity," said David Pursell, research manager at energy investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. to the Houston Chronicle. "It's really good for Houston and the white-collar jobs." Now in the $50-plus range, the New York Times reported that prices could continue to rise through the winter months, further accelerating economic recovery. Affirming these notions, in December the monthly Purchasing Managers Index, a survey of supply chain leaders to measure commercial activity, gave the city its third positive report in a row, indicating near-term expansion in employment, sales and production among all major industries. "We're seeing fairly significant strengthening in most of the underlying sectors, particularly oil and gas," Ross Harvin, who compiles the report for the Institute for Supply Management told Houston Public Media.
The most obvious sign of an economic turnaround, remarked Marcus Hiles, is the Greater Houston Partnership's forecast that Greater Houston will create 29,700 jobs in 2017, nearly twice the amount of the year before. In addition to the energy industry's resurgence, two other core elements of the city's economy - the Texas Medical Center, the world's largest, and the Port of Houston - are both thriving. "As healthcare becomes more important in society and the economy, we'll continue to see growth," said regional economist Patrick Janikowski. In 2017 the sector is expected to add 9,800 jobs, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the state's growth. Overall optimism for 2017, even among employers, is the highest it has been in years. In a new report from Houston based recruiting firm Murray Resources, 7.7 percent of companies predict they will be making significant hires this year, the largest amount since 2013, before the downturn in oil prices.
Marcus Hiles is the Founder and CEO of Western Rim Property Services, Texas' leading developer of luxury rental properties. Established in 1988, the company today owns and manages over 15,000 upscale residential townhomes and apartments, with communities in Houston, Austin, North Dallas and San Antonio.
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