HOUSTON (Metrostudy, Houston Business Journal) – Houston’s economy is showing signs of recovery, according to a recent Metrostudy report.

 The annual 2009 Census Household survey showed that the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area added over 140,000 to its total population, a 2.5 percent increase over one year.

“The continued arrival of people in Texas fuels demand for housing markets,” said David Jarvis, director of Metrostudy’s Houston division. “This, coupled with a more optimistic employment outlook, signals continued stability in the Houston housing market.”

For the 12 months ending in June 2010, the Houston region lost 17,100 jobs. As recently as December, the 12-month loss exceeded 100,000 jobs. By year’s end, year-over-year comparisons are expected to show moderate gains.

Houston ranked tenth among major U.S. metros for high-salary jobs, according to employment website TheLadders.com.

“We’re seeing hiring in the energy (oil and gas) sector,” said TheLadders.com Editor-in-Chief Matthew Rothenberg. “Considering the makeup of the local economy, it is not a surprise that there are a large number of engineering and consulting positions opening in Houston as well.”

The Houston housing market has continued to show stability through 2nd quarter 2010. Home starts for the quarter were at 5,942, a more than 12 percent increase over the first quarter. And home closings have outpaced new supply, indicating a higher housing demand and reducing total inventories of homes. At current absorption rates, the level of housing supply stands at 6.1 months.

However, the New Home Buyer Tax Credit should be taken into consideration (see “Weak Home Sales Numbers Not Whole Story” in today’s RECON).