The Houston-area economy received a strong shot in the arm from the construction sector, which has been performing somewhat poorly after posting strong results in the first three months of the year, the Houston Chronicle reports.
According to the news source, the Houston region added a total of 7,600 jobs in June, with a total of 7,900 construction jobs now available in the area.
"Construction is typically the last market to recover," said Patrick Jankowski, vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership. "We're finally starting to see it in construction."
However, the strong gains in construction staffing were somewhat offset by government jobs, notably those that end each season along with the school year, including bus drivers, cafeteria workers and janitors. This, however, reverses in August, when these employers go on payroll once again.
The Texas Workforce Commission stated that the seasonal drop in employment was responsible for a 7.5 percent increase in June, rising from 6.9 percent to 7.5 percent. However, the jobless rate is expected to dip in the fall thanks to more construction work and the resurgence of education jobs.
"Hopefully these layoffs aren't permanent," said Jankowski, adding that the state has yet to develop a permanent funding system for its education departments. This, he said, could affect the amount schools spend on new hires.
According to the media outlet, Houston's local unemployment rate is not seasonally adjusted, however the state's aggregate data is figured with seasonal patterns in mind. Statewide, Texas' unemployment rate was 7 percent in June, up from 6.9 percent the previous month.
But the gains in construction employment weren't limited to Houston. According to KSAT news, San Antonio has added 2,000 new construction jobs in the last year as more hotels, schools and hospitals are built.
"It's not a bad time to be looking for a construction job in San Antonio," said Doug McMurry, executive vice president of the Associated General Contractor of America, San Antonio chapter.
This job availability in the sector in some of Texas' largest cities led to an overall increase of 9,600 jobs across the state, contributing to the 24,000 construction jobs that have been created in Texas in the last two years.