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Bayou Business Download: A Look at the Houston Employment Picture at the Midyear Point

Published Jul 19, 2021 by A.J. Mistretta


Houston Skyline

In this episode of Bayou Business Download we talk about the employment picture here in Houston as the economic recovery continues. We’ll look at the jobs added and in which sectors, while also discussing what the rest of the year is likely to look like. 

Topics covered include: 

  • The industries gaining and losing the most jobs. 
  • The forces currently impacting the employment landscape. 
  • Which sectors are most likely to fare better in the second half of 2021. 
  • What the remainder of the year is likely to hold for job growth. 

Get the latest data on the local economy. 

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Talent developers across greater Houston have a new tool to help them directly connect clients without bachelor’s degrees to employers specifically seeking to hire them. The tool, Stellarworx, is a robust talent marketplace designed exclusively for jobseekers Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) – those other than a bachelor’s degree. Stellarworx is now available to help the Houston region’s 1.6 million STARs jobseekers join candidate pools for good jobs through a new collaboration between the nonprofit social enterprise organization Opportunity@Work, the American Petroleum Institute, Chevron, and the Partnership through its UpSkill Houston initiative. “We know that talent developers can struggle to identify players who are actively hiring STARs and spend months build relationships with employers and compete for a limited number of jobs available for STARs,” said Opportunity@Work’s Nicole Daniels in a recent meeting hosted by UpSkill Houston. “The employers on Stellarworx have chosen to come to us because they want to embrace skills-based hiring and they want to hire STARs, and they recognize the diverse skills and perspectives that STARs bring to the table.” STARs account for about 70 million workers nationwide (60 percent of the American workforce) and cut across all demographics and people groups, according to Opportunity@Work. They have developed skills employers seek and value through avenues including community college, military service, and on-the-job training, but are often screened out of talent searches because they do not hold a bachelor’s degree. Thanks to degree requirements used as proxies for skills – or what is called “the paper ceiling” – these workers only have access to about 26 percent of all new jobs created. The paper ceiling has long-lasting effects on workers’ earning power, as it takes a STAR 30 years to reach the wages of a recent college graduate.  Stellarworx is helping change this by providing talent developers an easier way to have their clients recognized by employers hiring for good jobs with good pay and opportunities for career advancement. All jobs posted on Stellarworx come with a minimum wage of $20 per hour, and they all must lead to a career pathway. The talent marketplace: Uses skills-based matching to identify employers and jobs best suited to enrolled STARs. Offers talent developers a one-stop-shop to aggregate labor market supply and demand information. Supports a healthy feedback loop between talent developers and employers to drive better client outcomes long term. Provides talent developers data and insights to track their clients’ career searches. The Stellarworx talent marketplace was launched in late 2020 is currently operating in three U.S. cities (and counting). More than 110 employers utilize the platform to find talent from its 2,100 talented STAR users. Opportunity@Work, which developed the platform, works to rewire the labor market open pathways for STARs to work, learn, and earn to their full potential.  “If they have the skills to do the job, they should be able to get the job,”  the organization’s Bridgette Gray said. Talent developers who are interested in learning more can contact Opportunity@Work’s Nicole Daniels directly at nicole@opportunityatwork.org.   Related: Recognizing Workforce STARs a Competitive Advantage The Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative works to strengthen the talent pipeline employers need to grow their businesses and to help all Houstonians build relevant skills and connect to good careers that increase their economic opportunity and mobility. Learn more.
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