Houston-area retailers were feeling quite merry during November as they staffed up for the holiday shopping season, according to employment data released Friday morning by Workforce Solutions, the region’s workforce development agency.
More than 9,000 jobs were added at department, clothing, general merchandise, and other stores last month while related industries, including warehousing and transportation companies, added an additional 6,000 workers to their payrolls, said Parker Harvey, the principal economist at Workforce Solutions. “We typically see brisk hiring in the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector during November, but this is the largest ever one-month gain on record.” Additional month-over-month hiring records were set in the Government services sector (+5,400), primarily at the school district level, and in healthcare-related fields (+5,000).
Despite the last several months of employment gains, Harvey said regional unemployment remains high, “The one-two punch of the pandemic and oil bust sent us over the proverbial cliff in the spring. So, while progress is being made, around 40 percent of the jobs lost during the March-April shutdown have yet to be recovered.” Not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rose in November to 8.9 percent, up more than point from October. However October’s rate adjusted for seasonal fluctuations fell to 8.0 percent.
Houston-area residents looking for a new or better job now have a streamlined way to search the more than 700,000 available jobs in the Lone Star State: www.MyTXCareer.com. “This new site allows users to quickly register and begin searching for, matching to and applying for jobs,” said Workforce Solutions manager Michelle Castrow. “After a few short questions, you’ll have access to the largest job search database in Texas.”
Additional labor market information can be found at www.wrksolutions.com/localstats. The Texas Workforce Commission will release employment data for December on January 22, 2021.