Oil and Gas job growth in the Houston area is unlikely to accelerate until oil companies start hiring again, local economists say. Even though the number of rigs working in oil fields across the United States has more than doubled since the summer of 2016, Houston's energy employment growth has stayed flat.

Last month, Houston added 300 jobs in the mining and logging job category, which encompasses the oil and gas industry. For the year, the region has added 900 new energy jobs.

But after losing some 70,000 energy jobs, even tiny gains are welcome. "Flat is the new up," said Patrick Jankowski, director of research at the Greater Houston Partnership. "After so many bad months it's finally looking pretty good," he told the Houston Chronicle.

Across Texas, the oil industry added 1,300 jobs last month, and about 32,800 since this time last year.