Government sector drives hiring in Houston area in September

HOUSTON, Texas (Reporting by Katy News) – The Houston area added 22,000 jobs in September, mostly in government, as students, teachers, support staff and administrators returned to schools for the fall semester.

The education and health services sectors added 3,700 jobs and a further 500 jobs were created in finance, but the remaining eight industry sectors saw no change or slight declines during the month.

Construction, which saw a downward revision of 900 jobs in August, held steady, while the leisure and hospitality sector was the most significant drag on employment, with 1,400 job losses.

These were smaller than the average losses we typically see in September, which is welcome after a difficult summer for sectors, said Parker Harvey, chief economist at Workforce Solutions.

The government sector, which includes public schools and universities, accounted for more than nine of every ten jobs added in September. It created 22,200 jobs, the sector’s largest September gain since 2013 and its second-largest gain since 1990.

Harvey said 12,000 jobs were created in the government sector over the last year, an annual growth rate of 2.8 percent, a pace we haven’t seen since about 2016.

The private education and health services sector, which includes private schools and education providers, added 3,700 jobs, the largest single-month gain on record. During the year, 23,300 jobs were created in this sector, setting a record set in September 2022.

Harvey said that despite large gains in public sector employment and smaller-than-average losses in other sectors, our local employment picture last month was quite positive.

The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percent in September. to 4.4 percent, while the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August increased by one tenth of a point to 4.5 percent.

Additional labor market information, including a detailed September report, can be found online at The Texas Workforce Commission will release October employment data on November 17, 2023.

Workforce Solutions is hosting the 12th editionWe’re hiring Red, White and you!Veteran Career Fair on November 9, 2023 at Northline (4424 North Freeway, Houston). There will be 50 local employers filling vacant positions. For more information and to pre-register, visit

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