In late 2014, when the price of oil fell dramatically, communities throughout Texas suffered economic downturns, with areas surrounding Houston being hit the hardest. As 2016 came to a close, Hiles was pleased to see that, with the value of crude oil doubling since their February lows and active rig counts rising by 200 in recent months, both the oil industry and the Houston economy have stabilized and resumed growth trends. In November alone, mining and logging, the sector that includes oil and gas extraction, added 3,200 jobs, while the greater Houston metropolitan area continued its job increase by half a percent, a rise from 2015. “Everyone can uncross their fingers now, because the worst is over,” wrote Patrick Janikowski, senior vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership, in the organization’s annual forecast of the coming year, “2017 should be a further step on the road to robust growth.”

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