Electricity Use, Weekly Hours Point To Manufacturing Gains

Houston manufacturing is perking up, according to a number of reliable indicators.

Nonresidential electricity usage rose by 2.2% in 2011 for the CenterPoint Energy service area. The firm indicates a total of more than 51.5 million Mwh used over the past year. It’s the second annual increase in a row.

Patrick Jankowski is vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership.

“There’s a lack of good data on actually how much is being produced in the Houston region from the manufacturing industries. So we have to look at some surrogates for that. One of the surrogates we can look at is the amount of electricity which is being produced and consumed in the nonresidential side.”

Another proxy Jankowski says bodes well for Houston manufacturing is the length of the average workweek.

“The typical manufacturing worker is working eight hours longer than they were prior to the recession.”

Jankowski says that’s a result of businesses squeezing more work out of fewer workers to meet rising demand.

Nonresidental electricity

Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research Department

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...