The most recent monthly jobs report shows the non-seasonally adjusted Houston unemployment rate decreased slightly in February, coming in at 4.7 percent. Month-over-month and on a seasonally adjusted basis, 5,500 Houston jobs were lost in the same time period.
Across the state of Texas, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February was 4.4 percent. During the same reporting period, 2,100 seasonally adjusted jobs were added statewide, continuing Texas’s 11-month growth streak.
What do these numbers mean for employers looking to staff Houston jobs?
Robert Half Senior Regional President Mark Malone notes, “While job growth in the oil and gas sector remains somewhat slow, other industries — such as healthcare — are continuing to expand.” Malone says this has led to an immediate need for skilled talent in a variety of industries. In the current market, he suggests managers consider bringing on temporary hires if needed. “Utilizing a temp-to-hire strategy allows for more flexibility in staffing, and can relieve added stress on your current staff. This, in turn, maintains productivity levels. You also have the unique benefit of evaluating candidates as they work with your team,” he says.
Malone also encourages hiring managers to prepare for the needs of more discerning candidates. “In many cases, your top contenders for Houston jobs are fielding multiple offers and will look at the benefits package as a whole, rather than focusing only on salary,” Malone says. Competitive compensation is always a must, but employers can differentiate themselves by offering additional incentives like flexible work hours, professional development opportunities and employee recognition programs. “Investing in benefits like these can work for recruitment in the short term, and can also be invaluable in your retention efforts,” Malone adds.
How does the Houston unemployment rate affect your staffing plans? For assistance with your hiring process, contact your local Robert Half recruiter at (855) 407-4735.