Before the pandemic, the lone star state has seen an increasing trend of population growth because of its rapidly growing job markets , affordable housing and low taxes.
There are also so many exciting things going on.Austin made a reputation of “Silicon Hills” by becoming a tech hub in the south with everyone buzzed about the next venture backed unicorns. Houston does not satisfied being the energy capital and embraced the smart city initiatives with newly built innovation center like Ion .
Then the pandemic hit……
To make sense where the job market stands in Texas and my home city Houston, I took a closer look at the layoffs data from the Warn Act and here are the three things we should know:
1.The Numbers were alarming but things are getting better
In March, the total number of layoffs has more than ten times the number same time last year with around 35000 layoffs in a month calculated from the Texas Warn Act data. That was the same period when business were closed and work safe orders were issued. Fortunately, the number has went down , but many questions remained. How long will it take for the Texas job markets to return to full health? How many jobs added to bring the layoff people back to workforce?
2.Dallas got hit hardest
if we break down the numbers by county, Dallas County tops the chart with total 3051 layoffs since January, while Harris County is in the third place with overall 2343 layoffs.
Among other major cities in Texas, Austin showed resilience with 1310 layoffs in Travis County.
3.Energy industry suffers deeply in Midland and Houston
As someone work in the energy industry, I definitely feel the pain on both micro and macro level in the economics downturn. Energy layoffs takes around 22% of total warn act layoffs. Remember, some major oil layoffs are not reported to Warn Act, thus the actual energy related layoffs percentage could be much larger.
Midland Energy Industry looks like a thriller ……………..
Midland, part of the shale boom, is affected deeply with depressing oil price and pandemic induced economics contraction. Three thirds of total layoffs this year are energy related jobs.
Everyone feel the job market is uniquely challenging.While we are encourage by the news of COVID-19 vaccine development, let’s not forget the biggest problem requires biggest attention. Texas is not all about oil and gas, but oil and gas is american job,and is an engineer’s anchor to build a life in the land of Texas.