Texas is officially competing with the country’s largest employment hubs.
In the 12 months that ended in February, the Dallas-Fort Worth area added 275,000 jobs, tripling its average. One firm now claims it has become the most sought-after hiring market for the year.
To compare, just Los Angeles and New York beat out the city for new hires, with nonfarm employment in the region growing by 7.4%, above the 4.9% national average.
The restaurant and drink industry, which was among the hardest hit from the pandemic, saw a 16.5% increase in jobs, nearly reaching its pre-pandemic level of employment.
Jim Baron, CEO and co-owner of Blue Mesa Grill and TNT/Tacos and Tequila, said weekly sales at his restaurant in the area were 36% ahead of last year. Thanks to these increased sales, Baron has been able to boost employees’ pay which makes it easier to retain them.
“We’ve increased prices strategically, and there’s been almost no pushback,” added Baron.
Between 2012 and 2019, Dallas-Fort Worth saw an average job gain of around 100,000 which consistently kept it in the top performing metros in the country. While the pandemic slammed the region’s employment, Dallas-Fort Worth recovered at a quicker pace than other cities.
“We’re doing really well, and we’re making up for a lot of lost ground,” said Julie Percival, a Dallas regional economist for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “A lot of our industries are now back on track with their historical growth.”
Despite this uptick in hiring, analysis from Dallas-based software company ThinkWhy predicts that the region will hire 118,000 employees this year, slowing its employment rate as its recovery levels out.