Houston economy has business booming as hiring slips nationwide

Although hiring slows in March, Houston is seeing growth downtown

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - Hiring slowed in March, according to the U.S. Labor Department, as businesses added just 88,000 jobs. That's the lowest monthly gain since June.

The number is also down 100,000 compared to March of a year ago.

Houston, on the other hand, is hiring.

"We're still hiring more and more because every single day, we have more customers and we need more staff in the back," said Avais Charania, the owner of Kobecue.

Charania's business just opened at Texas and Main in downtown Houston.

"We have real growth," said Bob Stein, Professor of Political Science at Rice University.

Stein said that the Texas Medical Center is part of a diversified economy.

"It's not just that we are attracting people who come in here for medical services, but it's become an important engine for research and discovery," said Stein.

But that growth could mean you pay more for housing. MSNBC said rental rates are expected to increase 4.6 percent by the end of the year. That's second only to the increase in rental property in Seattle.

"This opportunity actually found me," said David McLaughlin. He moved from New York to Houston because of the opportunities in Houston's energy industry.

"I was really attracted to Houston because of the vibrancy of the economy and just the liberty here in the state is much different than where I was," said McLaughlin.

The U.S. Labor Department said nearly 500,000 people dropped out of the labor market last year.

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