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1 Million Job Openings In Texas Break New Record

In DFW more people are working than ever before and more jobs are available still
Photo: Suzanne Tucker | Shutterstock

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a report last Thursday, December 1 reviewing the employment and unemployment rates of the country. According to the Bureau, the national unemployment rate was 3.4% in October, 0.9% lower than a year earlier. In DFW, between September 2021 and October 2022, 183,526 more people joined the labor force and another 133,702 did the same in the Dallas-Plano-Irving area.

A previous report by the Bureau found that in September, ten states saw an increase in job openings, the largest increase happening in Texas where more than 96,000 new openings were added in one month. Although, that number didn’t reflect in more hirings. Texas hiring rates were down 0.4% from the previous month.

Even though the state has more people working than ever before, BLS data shows that Texas has more than 1 million job openings still vacant, almost twice as much as before the pandemic and the highest on record. With the state’s low unemployment rate there are roughly 1.8 openings for every unemployed Texan. For people who are already working, this represents a chance to look for better opportunities.

“It’s still a really good time to apply and be active — if you’re looking for something new,” Thomas Vick, Dallas-Fort Worth regional director of Robert Half, a major staffing firm told The Dallas Morning News. “A lot of candidates are still very comfortable looking for another job. And they’re quickly realizing how many opportunities are out there because they’re getting phone calls from people like us on a daily basis.”

In this sense, Vick said it’s a seller’s market. Employees are better positioned to negotiate salaries and overall working conditions. A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta found that nationwide wages grew 6.4% in October and employees switching jobs gained a premium and a median wage increase of 7.6% during the same period.

Some sectors that are leading the growth now, are the same that endured the biggest blow during the pandemic. The service industry including restaurants and hotels had a 14% increase in job openings in DFW from October 2021 to the same period this year.

On the opposite side, this new low in unemployment and high numbers of job openings make hiring difficult. “Our production constraint has shifted from supply chain to labor,” a transportation equipment manufacturer told the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “We cannot hire fast enough to increase production as fast as we would like to.”

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