Dozens of job seekers with resumes in hand participated in a recent hospitality industry hiring fair at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel downtown. The event drew a larger crowd than anticipated, prompting the addition of more managers to conduct interviews. Michael Howell, who is finishing his hospitality management bachelor’s degree at Strayer University in Fort Worth, was optimistic about his job-search prospects. And, with good reason. Texas, along with the Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area, has recovered from the job losses seen during the onset of COVID-19. Furthermore, the Dallas metro area continues to experience an uptick in job growth comparable to other regions and states, with the hospitality industry leading the way.
Despite inflationary pressures and concerns of a potential recession, the Fort Worth-Arlington area is adding jobs at a steady pace, adding 58,200 jobs in February compared to the same time last year, translating to a 5.2% increase, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The Tarrant County unemployment rate was 3.8%, which also suggests economic prosperity.
Adam Perdue, an economist at the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center, notes that employment growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is likely to slow down toward the end of 2023, although the numbers currently remain steady, a sign of the area’s impressive strength. The leisure and hospitality industry saw notable growth, as it had not yet caught up to the jobs lost during the pandemic.
Despite the positive overall jobs picture, layoffs continue to occur in some sectors. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, Penske Logistics in Keller has announced plans to layoff 152 workers by May 20, while Misfits Markets Technology is laying off 121 by April 8. Meanwhile, Stanley Black & Decker intends to shutter a plant in Fort Worth and cut 175 jobs by 2024. Even Amazon plans to cut personnel, with more than 18,000 nationwide layoffs.
Express Employment Professionals’ general manager for Fort Worth, Jan Riggins, observes growth in the logistics sector but notes that some companies in light manufacturing appear to be in a holding pattern. She predicts lower demand for workers in 2023, but still sees demand across various industries that use the employment agency. Riggins says she is optimistic going forward but cautiously so, given the many unknown factors currently at play.