For the first time since the recession, Houston is entering the holiday season with unemployment on the rise. But there are resources available for those looking for work between Christmas and New Year's.
Human resources firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas normally provides counseling only to workers receiving outplacement benefits from their former employers. But during the holidays, the Chicago-based consultancy takes a different approach.
"We suspend normal work activities for two days," says company vice president Andy Challenger, "have all of our coaches come in and field calls from anybody that wants to get advice about the job search, about the job market, and really talk to some professionals about how to find new positions this time of year."
Challenger is expecting more calls from Texas this year. Falling oil prices are likely to mean more layoffs in the energy sector in 2016. But, "luckily, within the energy industry, a lot of those positions have very transferrable skills," he says, "a lot of great, hardworking people that have skills that are applicable to other industries, and so we do often see people making the transition to just another part of the economy."
This marks the thirtieth year for the free job-search call-in. It runs December 28th and 29th, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. The telephone number is 312-422-5010.