Greater Houston registered an unemployment rate of 6% in December, up from 5.8% in November. That comes even as the Texas rate dropped to just over 6%, down a tenth of a percentage point from a month earlier. Both the city and state jobless rates are down from over 7% in December 2011.
Nina Franco is a Houston-based managing director with professional staffing firm Accounting Principals.
“Typically, employers are waiting until January to make hiring decisions. It’s one of the slowest months of the year in my business. Everyone says, ‘January, January, January,’ so that may have something to do with the slight increase in the Houston market. But I think that we’re going to see it go right back down for the January numbers, when everyone really kicks into gear that hiring, they’ve got new budgets set, and they’re ready to go.”
Texas added 4,100 non-farm jobs in December, for a total of nearly 261,000 added over the year. Six out of 11 industries in Texas added jobs last month. Professional and business services led the pack with more than 13,000 new jobs. The government sector saw the largest job cuts, down nearly 8,000 jobs from November.