July 2015 Jobs Report: Uptick in Houston Unemployment

According to the most recent monthly jobs report, Houston unemployment was 4.7 percent in July, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. This is up slightly from the previous month, but down from a Houston unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in July of last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, 8,500 Houston jobs were added in July.

Statewide, Texas’s unemployment rate remained at 4.2 percent in July, 0.8 percentage points lower than it was 12 months prior. The state added a total of 31,400 jobs for the month, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Let’s take a look at how these numbers are affecting the Houston jobs market.

Thomas Vick, metro market manager at Robert Half, says that, while oil field services and exploration and production companies have been hit hard with the decreased price of oil, many other Houston industries are thriving. “Healthcare, manufacturing, professional services, transportation, refining, petro-chemical and real estate have all seen growth,” he reports. As a result, a lot of companies in Houston are expanding or upgrading the talent levels of staff, and recruiting is a major focus. “To avoid losing top talent to the competition, employers need to streamline their recruitment processes,” Vick advises. He also notes that many companies are seeking the help of specialized recruiters, who often have inside information on people not actively seeking work but who may be open to quality opportunities.

“Businesses are also concentrating on retaining the employees they have,” Vick says. “Employers not currently able to promote and give raises may want to consider low-cost means of effective retention.”

How have changes in the Houston jobs market affected your company? Share your experiences in the comments below.