The most obvious marker of an economic turnaround, notes Marcus Hiles, is the Greater Houston Partnership’s forecast that the region will create 29,700 jobs in 2017, nearly twice the amount of 2016. In addition to the energy industry’s growth, two other major elements of the city’s economy – the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest, along with the Port of Houston – are both thriving. “As healthcare becomes more important in society and the economy, we’ll continue to see growth,” explained regional economist Patrick Janikowski. In 2017 the sector is expected to produce 9,800 new jobs, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the state’s growth. Positive outlooks for 2017, even among employers, are more common 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 2013, before the downturn in oil costs.