New Texas Jobs May Outnumber Qualified Workers

New Texas Jobs May Outnumber Qualified Workers

HOUSTON, Texas–The unemployment rate in Texas recently fell to a new five-year low, according to new statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. As business booms in the Lone Star State, many companies are in need of trained workers–most notably employers in the rapidly-expanding medical, gas, and oil fields. 

It is easy to imagine why a variety of industries continue to grow in Texas, as the state has consistently been one of the best places to start and expand businesses. Vance Ginn, an economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, told Breitbart Texas, “What we’ve seen is that the Texas model of low taxes, modest government spending, and stable regulations provides a business-friendly environment that gives incentives for businesses to move to the state.”

He pointed out that more Fortune 500 companies moving to Texas than any other state in the nation.

The only negative side of the boom? Many companies are having trouble finding qualified workers.

Traditional leading markets like Los Angeles see roughly 10 percent of the population often unable to find a job. But many Texas cities have the opposite problem.

Sara Higgins, a spokeswoman with the City of Midland, told Breitbart Texas, “We have issues filling our jobs.”

She continued, “The low unemployment has made it hard to find workers in the service sector. To remain competitive, the starting wages are incredibly high for retail and restaurants here, but we see more people going into oil because it’s more lucrative. Some restaurants have had to reduce hours because they cannot hire enough staff to keep it open full time.”

Houston is facing a similar issue. New research by the Greater Houston Partnership claims that the healthy economy and business environment will result in 300,000 new high-skilled jobs in the Houston area alone over the next five years. 

But business leaders are unsure that they will be able to fill all of those positions. Many jobs in Texas’ fastest-growing industries require employees with specific training. 

According to Click2Houston, chair of Houston’s JPMorgan Chase Gina Luna recently announced UpSkill Houston, a program to train workers. Most candidates for the program will have either a high school diploma or have completed a two year college program. 

CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership reportedly said of UpSkill Houston, “It’s absolutely critical to the Houston economy. … Frankly, we’re also not going to have a healthy community if we don’t find a way to provide those skills so they can enter the workforce productively.”

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate