Business

Houston Adds 20,800 Jobs In October, Pushing Total Employment Past 3 Million

Hiring in education and construction offset layoffs in energy and manufacturing

Greater Houston passed a milestone in October. Total employment exceeded 3 million jobs for the first time on record, according to numbers compiled by the Texas Workforce Commission. The Houston metro area added 20,800 jobs in October. That’s compared to 2,800 jobs added in September.

“We always see a bump with education, and that occurred this year,” says Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership. “The teachers that were hired in August and September are finally being counted in the numbers, and that’s one thing that comes out real strong. We are seeing growth in construction. Although we are seeing a slowdown in commercial construction, we haven’t peaked yet on the construction on the east end of town, and that’s where you’re seeing a lot of construction activity with the chemical plants and the refineries and the ethane crackers and so forth.”

Jankowski says the latest numbers do not reflect holiday retail hiring, which he expects to be strong.

Greater Houston’s unemployment rate rose to 4.8 percent in October, up from 4.6 percent in September. The increase largely stems from layoffs in energy and manufacturing. The national unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent.

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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