San Antonio metro region added 33,100 jobs in 2017

Construction industry needs workers

SAN ANTONIO – Drive through downtown and you can see the city is under construction. All those hardhats are seen as an indicator of a building economy and lower unemployment.

The jobless rate for the eight-county metro region is 3 percent, compared with 3.6 percent a year ago.

"Last year, we added 33,100 jobs, which is also a very good number," said George Hempe, CEO of Workforce Solutions Alamo.

Nearly every industry saw positive growth, especially professional and business jobs and construction. In December alone, the construction sector added 1,200 new jobs.

Robust job growth has resulted in some challenges. Some employers are struggling to find qualified, skilled people for their jobs.

"There is a huge need for construction workers right now," Hempe said.

Hurricane Harvey is partly to blame for the shortage.

"A number of people moved to that region in order to support their efforts to rebuild," Hempe said.

There are signs of more growth ahead. More people are moving to the area in search of work — as many as 3,000 a month.

USAA recently announced plans to add 1,500 new jobs. And Hulu continues to add tech jobs to the area.

Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, CEO of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, said earlier this month that her office is focused on smart growth in the coming year. 

"Cybersecurity, biosciences, tech, across the board — all of those emerging industries that bring the type of quality high-paying jobs that San Antonio needs," she said.

About the Author: