Harvey employment affect expected to be short lived

Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in late August took quite a toll on the area’s employment picture, according to numbers released by Workforce Solutions.

Houston lost 16,000 jobs in September, mostly due to bars and restaurants damaged or idled by the storm’s unprecedented rainfall.

“The Texas Workforce Commission surveyed Houston employers during the week of September 11,” explained Parker Harvey, senior economist at Workforce Solutions.

That’s about two weeks after landfall when much of the area was still experiencing major flooding, “so it gives us a pretty good snapshot of how the storm affected area employers.”

Harvey cautions, however, that the numbers are subject to revision, “it’s likely that some sectors will show even steeper losses,” he said.

Trade, transportation, and utilities, which includes retail stores, lost 4,800 jobs post-hurricane – a number Harvey says is likely to be revised downward in November.

On a more positive note, Harvey’s effects on the employment picture is expected to be short lived. Job postings in construction, flood remediation, and with local governments have increased since the flood waters receded, said Michelle Ramirez, program manager at Workforce Solutions.

“We are getting about 300 new job orders every day and they include construction and manufacturing jobs as well seasonal retail positions,” she said. “Right now, we also have about 2,000 Harvey-related job openings that we are actively working to fill.”

The Texas Workforce Commission will release employment numbers for October 2017 on November 17.

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