Hiring Outlook Improves For Houston

Things appear to be looking up for people looking for a job in the Houston area. A new survey finds local companies plan to hire new employees in the coming quarter at a stronger pace than this time last year, and at a higher rate than the rest of the country. More from David Pitman.

The Employment Outlook Survey by the job placement firm Manpower shows nearly 70 percent of local companies plan to maintain staffing levels for the third quarter of 2010.  Twenty-one percent say they intend to add employees, while only 6 percent are looking to cut staff.  That translates into what Manpower calls a Net Employment Outlook of 15 percent.

"When you compare that to last year, the same time period, quarter 3 of 2009, the Net Employment Outlook was a zero."

That's Doug Karr, the metro regional director for Manpower in Houston.  He says local employers believe more strongly now than they did a year ago that the worst of the recession appears to be over.

"There's a higher demand for their products and services right now.  So they've seen a sustained demand for that, so they've started hiring more staff in order to take care of production, or the service level that's required to take care of their clients."

Karr says the industries that plan to do the most hiring include construction, transportation, wholesale and retail trade, financial services, healthcare, education, and tourism.

"The areas that are looking probably to reduce are government.   And areas that are staying the same are the manufacturing facilities."

Karr says Houston is holding onto its reputation as one of the strongest economies in the country.  The Net Employment Outlook here is four percent higher than the nation as a whole.

To view the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, visit www.manpower.com/press.

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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...