Houston’s post-pandemic financial system is slowly creeping again, a brand new examine says

As COVID-19 cases in Texas escalate alarmingly, businesses here in Houston are slowly (for now) returning to a new normal. How well is Bayou City recovering from the pandemic economically compared to other major cities in the US and Texas?

So-so, such an insightful new report.

A new list released on July 29 by financial advisory website SmartAsset lists the US cities with the strongest economic recovery from the pandemic.

SmartAsset examined five data points for 49 of the largest US cities to determine the economic winners:

  • Percentage change in consumer spending

  • Percentage change in small businesses that are open

  • Percentage change in small business turnover

  • Percentage change in job advertisements

  • Unemployment rate March 2021

Houston performed slightly better than the study-wide average on three of the metrics (although some of the numbers still look pretty bleak). The Houston statistics are:

1. Change in consumer spending (January 2020-April 2021)

  • Houston: 11.7 percent

  • Study-wide average: 7.3 percent

2nd change in small business open (January 2020-April 2021)

  • Houston: -34.5 percent

  • Study-wide average: -32.51 percent

3. Change in Small Business Revenue (January 2020-April 2021)

  • Houston: -36.6 percent

  • Study-wide average: -30.9 percent

March 4, 2021 unemployment rate

  • Houston: 10.6 percent

  • Study-wide average: 6.6 percent

Elsewhere in Texas, the SmartAsset ranking places Dallas in 19th place and Fort Worth in 11th place. Among the most populous cities in the SmartAsset study, Dallas ranks highest. Austin ranks 23rd for pandemic economic recovery, with San Antonio ranked 38th.

Only one other city in Texas, El Paso, appears in the top 20 (# 8). Salt Lake City, Utah tops the list.

The University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business recently analyzed the pandemic recovery in Houston. In its report, the Bauer study finds a bigger recovery in the US than in Houston – and that oil and gas downturns have selectively hit Houston harder than the rest of Texas.

In some good news, the Bauer study reports on the largest sectors with the greatest recoveries: healthcare, retail and hospitality.

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