Modest Employment Gains In December As Retail And Related Activities Staffed Up For Final Holiday Sales Push

Holiday-related hiring continued to boost the region’s employment through December, which saw an additional 10,600 jobs filled, according to data released Friday morning by Workforce Solutions. Trade, Transportation and Utilities, which includes retail stores and logistics activities such as warehousing and delivery services, added 6,300 jobs for the month.

Parker Harvey, an economist with the regional workforce development agency, said December hiring in this sector was slightly below what the region typically sees and will disappear now that the holiday season is over, except for jobs related to logistics activities. “We have seen steady growth throughout 2020 in the warehousing subsector, which is likely driven by the move to more online shopping,” he said.

Not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment for December fell nearly a point to 8.0-percent from November’s 8.9-percent. Harvey said that since the COVID-related shutdown caused the local economy to bottom out in March and April, the Houston area has recovered nearly 60-percent of those losses during the last eight months.

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: “If you haven’t yet registered in, this website is an easy way to begin searching our database while you build your profile,” said Workforce Solutions manager Michelle Castrow. “After a few short questions, you’ll have access to the largest job search database in Texas.” doesn’t require users to upload a resume to get started. In addition to the job database, the website also gives users access to online learning courses. “For those receiving unemployment benefits, these e-learning courses count toward the weekly work search requirement,” Castrow said.

Additional labor market information including the detailed December report can be found at The Texas Workforce Commission will release employment data for January on March 13, 2021.