The strongest sign of an economic turnaround, Marcus Hiles explains, is the Greater Houston Partnership forecasting that the Houston area will create 29,700 jobs in 2017, almost twice as many as in 2016. In addition to the energy industry’s growth, two other major elements of the region’s economy – the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest, along with the Port of Houston – are doing great. “As healthcare becomes more important in society and the economy, we’ll continue to see growth,” explains Patrick Janikowski, regional economist. This year, the sector is expected to create 9,800 new jobs, accounting for almost 30 percent of the increase across the state. Positive outlooks for 2017, even amongst employers, are more prevalent than they have been in years. In a new report from Houston based recruiting firm Murray Resources, 7.7 percent of firms predict they will make significant hires this year, the highest amount since the downturn in oil costs before 2013.