The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released figures showing that Houston’s job growth continues to be good in many sectors. Combined, the health services, education and hospitality sectors have added over 25,000 jobs since June of last year, and at a much higher rate than other areas of the country. Houston continues to be ahead of the economic recovery curve due to our strong energy sector and affordable cost of living, which helped to shelter the local economy from the worst of the crisis.
Education and health services added approximately 13,500 jobs to the local economy between June 2012 and June 2013, for an increase of 4.1 percent, far exceeding the national increase of 1.8 percent. Much of this can be attributed to our burgeoning medical center and strong suburban school districts, many of which are growing quickly as newcomers relocate to the suburbs.
The hospitality industry also saw good gains in jobs added, increasing its workforce by 13,300 positions from June 2012 to June 2013. Food services and drinking establishments were 80 percent of these new positions, which is a testament to Houston’s diverse and renowned restaurant scene. This increase in the number of jobs in the sector was a jump up of five percent over the course of the year, which is much stronger than the national rate of increase of 3.5 percent.
These increases are good news for graduates of the class of 2013. While the average national unemployment rate hovers around eight percent, the rate for those with a college degree is substantially lower, less than half of that, at 3.9 percent in April. Recent graduates in the Houston area can look forward to continued growth in the jobs market and will be sure to find a stellar position as many industries continue to expand.
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.