Monthly Jobs Report: Houston Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly

According to the most recent monthly jobs report, the non-seasonally adjusted Houston unemployment rate for January was 4.8 percent, up 0.2 percent from the previous month. Additionally, 1,900 Houston jobs were lost on a seasonally adjusted basis in January.

For the state of Texas, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 4.5 percent, down slightly from last month. Statewide, a total of 31,400 jobs were added since December 2015, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

How does the rising Houston unemployment rate impact employers looking to staff open positions?

According to Robert Half Senior Regional President Mark Malone, area managers are being forced to adapt their hiring strategies to the current environment. Hiring in the oil and gas industry has slowed, but other industries, such as healthcare, are growing. “The latter change has led area companies to adopt a more streamlined approach to the hiring process,” he says. Malone cautions employers staffing Houston jobs to set realistic expectations and to consider candidates that may require some additional training. “If you’re set on finding a candidate who has every qualification you’re looking for, you may find you’re wasting valuable time spinning your wheels,” he notes.

It is crucial to differentiate your must-have and like-to-have qualifications, so the hiring process doesn’t take too long. Many times it’s much more cost-effective and efficient to hire from within or offer on-the-job training to applicants who have plenty to offer but lack skills in some areas.

Malone also says employers can benefit from broadening the scope of their searches. “If you find your search for a full-time employee isn’t going anywhere, consider adding temporary staff members to maintain productivity,” he suggests. In some cases, project professionals who perform exceedingly well could be convinced to join a firm full time.

How does the Houston jobs report affect your staffing plans? For assistance with hiring efforts, contact your local Robert Half recruiter at (855) 407-4735.