According to the most recent monthly jobs report, the non-seasonally adjusted Houston unemployment rate rose to 4.8 percent in October, up 0.2 percentage points from the previous month. In spite of the increased unemployment rate, 12,900 Houston jobs were added during the same reporting period, on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The statewide unemployment rate for Texas also increased slightly in October, coming in at a seasonally adjusted 4.4 percent. In addition, Texas added 20,000 seasonally adjusted jobs over the last reporting period.
What does the increased Houston unemployment rate mean to area employers?
Robert Half Senior Regional President Mark Malone says that the drop in gas prices and subsequent downturn in the oil and gas industries have greatly affected the Houston jobs market. “Companies in this sector are still looking at budget cuts, and have resorted to making layoffs or reducing salaries,” Malone notes. “Additionally, due to hiring uncertainties, many employees who would be willing to make a career move in a more sound jobs market are choosing to stay put,” he says, making it difficult for managers who are hiring to find qualified candidates.
On the other hand, industries such as construction, healthcare and manufacturing are actively hiring, and are finding it challenging to locate skilled professionals. Malone notes that these sectors need to increase their focus on retention, or risk losing key players to competitors.
While offering competitive salaries is an excellent means of retention, employee incentives don’t always have to be connected to pay. “There may be members of your staff who would jump at the chance to work from home or work flexible hours,” Malone points out. He suggests checking in with employees to make certain they’re satisfied at your organization, so they’re less likely to explore other options.
Local Robert Half recruiters can help you find top talent in the Houston jobs market. Call us today at (855) 407-4735.