Monthly Jobs Report: Houston Unemployment Rises

The most recent monthly jobs report shows the non-seasonally adjusted Houston unemployment rate for March was 4.9 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from February. Additionally, 2,600 Houston jobs were lost on a seasonally adjusted basis during the same reporting period.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in March, coming in at 4.3 percent. Texas also saw a decline in seasonally adjusted jobs numbers month over month, with a decrease of 12,000 jobs.

How does this data impact hiring managers trying to staff Houston jobs?

Robert Half Senior Regional President Mark Malone says, “While we have seen recent layoffs in the oil and gas industry, area employers are still battling for skilled talent across other sectors, such as health care and hospitality.” To locate skilled professionals for open Houston jobs, Malone suggests hiring managers re-examine their interview process. “The last thing you want is to rush through necessary steps in the recruitment process and wind up absorbing the costs of a bad hire,” he notes. “To get a fuller picture of the candidate, employers should consider a traditional interview, along with alternatives such as a panel interview.” Malone also suggests that reference checks should never be treated as optional, as comments from former employers can provide critical insight into a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

In addition to updating their recruiting practices, Malone notes that employers can gain a competitive edge by emphasizing their corporate culture. “More and more candidates are looking beyond salary and standard benefits packages, and are seeking a job in which they feel comfortable and happy while at work,” he says. Highlighting elements like a casual dress code or flexible hours can go a long way in recruiting skilled talent.

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