Houston’s Hot Job Market

According to a recent job growth report, Houston is most definitely the place to be if you need a job.  The job growth is buoyed, of course, by the oil industry. In addition to this dynamic, Houston was the last city to sink into the recession and actually has been the first to climb out of it. Houston added 88,000 jobs during the year that ended this past May. Some 21,000 of those positions were in health care compared with just 9,000 in the natural resources sector. The city’s economy, it turns out, has greatly diversified since the 1980s oil boom went bust and wiped out 1 of every 7 of the region’s jobs. Houston has fared well in foreign trade and health care.

Houston has also been helped by what it didn’t have: a housing bubble. Perhaps to the chagrin of other states, Texas has stricter rules in place for home lending than many others. The economy was not just growing based on the housing boom or people retiring in Houston.

Houston, which is extremely car-dependent, is now investing some of the rewards of its economic growth on expanding a light rail system. This is in the hopes of making Houston more “walk able” so to speak. These progressive possibilities will play an important role in job growth for Houstonians.

City officials seeking to copy Houston’s success should keep in mind that the area’s development resulted from “the combination of some policies that have been explicitly placed by policymakers but also the outcome of market forces. The message is clearly, “Let the private sector do what they do best.” Interference from government regulations that are trying to stimulate growth artificially does not create jobs. Many of the new job opportunities include positions for college graduates — geologists, seismologists and neurologists — and those for people with less education — service and retail workers, hospital orderlies.

Houston sits at 7.3 percent unemployment, almost a full percentage point below the national rate. Part of this is due to openness to immigration. All of the growth has been non-Anglo. It is a story of immigration that has contributed to an economy that has not stalled like the rest of the country.

A recent survey found the jobs market in Houston is stronger than the State of Texas, as a whole. Twenty-seven percent of employers told the agency they plan to increase their staff levels the next quarter. Hiring in the construction, manufacturing and transportation industries look the more promising.

With the good news being reported for Houston jobs, there is no doubt that this is the place to be if you are involved in a job search. Houston, a city on the move, no doubt has survived some tough economic times and continues to find solutions for unemployment numbers. So, it’s safe to say, something besides the weather is hot in Houston – a HOT job market!

Houston, TX Housing Data for Builders and Housing Market Intelligence. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 July 2012.

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