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The Houston metro area is the most racially and ethnically diverse region in the United States and the fifth most populous metro with 7 million people. The Houston region offers a diverse and highly-skilled labor force of more than three million workers, larger than that of 35 states. The area is also a growing hub for young talent. Houston is a top 10 city for attracting millennials and ranks No. 1 in retaining college graduates. 

33.3 percent

One-third of Houstonians 25 years and older is a college graduate

33.3 percent

One-third of Houstonians 25 years and older is a college graduate

1.5 million

Number of Houstonians 25 years or older with a bachelor degree

Houston Workforce at a Glance

Houston has the skilled workers necessary for a wide range of industries from professional services to health care and advanced manufacturing to aerospace. 

Houston consistently ranks among the nation's leaders when it comes to job growth. A strong economy with expanding businesses, numerous universities and technical schools and a relatively low cost of living that draws new residents combine to make this one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S. 


Working Population


Average weekly wage


Average pre-tax, per capita income


Population with a bachelors degree or higher

Between 2015 and 2040, the Texas-based economic forecasting firm the Perryman Group expects population growth averaging 1.6 percent annually in the Houston region. Over the same period, Perryman forecasts wage and salary employment to rise at a 1.7 percent annual rate. 

The Houston region is home to more than 20 universities and colleges, including three Tier 1 universities. Houston-area colleges and universities educate nearly 220,000 students annually and graduated nearly 55,000 students.

In addition, another estimated 200,000 students are enrolled annually in local community and technical colleges. There is also a regional focus on developing tomorrow's workforce through educating young people on emerging industries and re-training mid-career professionals for high-demand careers. Houston has developed a strong bridge between the talent needs of various industries and the educational programs being offered through colleges, universities and technical programs.

A City Full of Hidden Talent

Houston is often linked directly to energy, and rightfully so as the region's largest industry. But in recent decades Houston has diversified its economy and greatly expanded industries such as health care and technology. That diversification coupled with low cost of living is attracting new residents from across the country and around the world. What's more, the region is home to more than 20 universities and colleges, including three Tier 1 universities. These institutions educate nearly 220,000 students annually and graduate nearly 55,000. Another 200,000 students are enrolled annually in local community and technical colleges.
More Than Just Energy
Fortune 500 Companies
Industry Organizations

Diversity Drives Innovation

People from many different faiths, cultures, lifestyles and customs find a home in the nation's most diverse city. It's that unique blending of people that breeds innovation. Houston is a city that chooses to take humankind's boldest challenges head-on. An unabashedly pro-growth and opportunity rich city fueled by innovators and America's youngest workforce, Houston offers a highly educated talent pool. 

Closing the Skills Gap with UpSkill

In June 2014, the Greater Houston Partnership created UpSkill Houston—among the nation’s first business-led collaborations working with education and community stakeholders—to help close Houston’s skills gap by aligning collective efforts to pursue three fundamental objectives: Attract unemployed and underemployed Houston residents and youth to advanced technical and craft careers across the region; Train individuals in the technical and employability skills necessary for success; and Place and retain these workers in careers that reward those who continue to upgrade their skills.

Building Houston's Future Workforce

With a talented and diverse workforce of more than 3.1 million people, the Houston region is one of the most dynamic employment centers in the nation. Area employment is now higher than at any point in Houston's history and a significant supply of recent college graduates in a wide array of fields continues to strengthen the large professional talent pool throughout the Houston region.

Talent Resource Group

Launched in 2019, the Partnership's Talent Resource Group (TRG) provides HR professionals, ERG leaders and recruiters with access to information to grow their companies most important resource: talent. Topics will address talent attraction, retention, enhancing corporate culture as well as continuing education needs for HR professionals. 

Meet Us at an Upcoming Event


Houston DiverseCity Summit

The Greater Houston Partnership proudly presents the Houston DiverseCity Summit, an inspiring one-day convening to advance equity and inclusion in the greater Houston region. This gathering of leading professionals will focus on DEI as a business imperative and practical ways businesses can advance progress, improve outcomes, and move from intention to impact. Join the Houston region's business leaders and Talent and DEI executives who will share actionable insights to help you meet business outcomes and stakeholder expectations.    The Summit offers both breakout discussions and keynote speaker content for companies and organizations of all sizes with a focus on successful practices, peer connection, and first-rate resources to help you mature your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies.   Concurrent Breakout session topics include: The Evolution and Future of ERGs Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are evolving and have a dual mandate to address complex human capital needs and align with business goals. Join us to discuss the heightened importance of employee networks in advancing inclusion now and in the future. How will ERGs deliver on employee needs, provide a return on investment, and retain business relevance and results? Connecting DEI and ESG: Why Inaction is Not an Option Customers, investors, employees, and other stakeholders expect companies to behave ethically and responsibly. What is the connection between environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and what is the risk of inaction? Join us to learn how a strong DEI strategy that includes inclusive growth, human capital management, and supplier diversity supports both ESG commitments and a company’s strategic direction. Rethinking Talent Retention and Advancement for Underrepresented Groups Boston Consulting Group (BCG) will share their latest insights and offer a fresh perspective on strategies to acquire, retain, and advance BIPOC and other underrepresented groups. BCG will also share the key drivers that influence workplace needs and challenge your organization to rethink support and interventions.  A Blueprint for Belonging: How Can We Create Inclusive Culture? In an unpredictable and highly competitive environment, human capital leaders recognize that attracting and retaining the best talent requires concerted action. This robust discussion will highlight both individual and organizational strategies and inspire new ideas about where companies should take bolder action to create inclusive culture, develop inclusive leadership skills, and promote inclusive behavior.  Measuring DEI Progress and Sustaining Momentum  This session focuses on the need to adopt systematic approaches to DEI.  How do leading companies build trust and use accountability, transparency, and DEI analytics to make informed decisions on workforce planning, operating models, business unit goals, and much more? This panel will help you dive deeper into ways to assess the impact of DEI on organizational performance.   Over the course of the Summit, we will explore topics including strategic focus, trust and transparency, aligning ERGs to business priorities, inclusive talent recruitment, advancement, and retention, supplier diversity, and much more. Speakers Include: Ruth Simmons, President, Prairie View A&M University Gretchen Watkins, President, Shell USA, Inc.  Derek R. Avery, Ph.D., C.T. Bauer Chair of Inclusive Leadership, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston Shea Bible, Director, Corporate Engagement,Catalyst Mary Miranda, US West DE&I Leader and HR Enablement Leader, EY Marty Rogers, Market Unit Lead - South Region, Accenture Shibu Varghese, SHRM-SCP, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, MD Anderson Boston Consulting Group   Sponsorship opportunities are now available for companies interested in supporting the event. Individual tickets and tables of 10 are now available. 

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Get in touch with our team to assist with additional Talent questions, such as:

  • Workforce economy statistics 
  • Economic and employment data 
  • Assistance with skills development training
Susan Davenport
Senior Vice President & Chief Economic Development Officer
Economic Development
Looking for the rest of our team?
Partnership Staff