BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – The local economy in the Bryan-College Station area continues to be healthy according to the latest economic indicators released by the Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A&M University earlier this week.
According to the report, the Bryan-College Station Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) unemployment rate for October was 3.1%, the same as September. Statewide, Bryan-College Station MSA has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the state behind Amarillo and Austin-Round Rock, both of which sit at 2.9%. On average, the unemployment rate for the state of Texas is 4.1%, while the national level sits at 3.5%.
The leisure and hospitality industry has also largely returned to pre-pandemic levels, but local restaurant owner Wade Beckman said there are still not as many applications as before the pandemic.
“It used to be in a college town, every season, season after season, we had a massive influx of students and qualified applicants coming in and filling out applications, and that’s really gone away,” Beckman said. “It’s getting better, but you have to work a little harder to find people.”
In order to find employees, Beckman uses tools such as Indeed, Jobs for Aggies and even Craigslist.
“You actually send out invitations to people who said they’re interested and unfortunately you don’t get a massive response, even from people who said ‘I’m interested in a job'” , Beckman said.
Although it has been difficult to find employees, Beckman said he hasn’t seen any significant turnover at any of his restaurants.
“As an employer, you need to make sure you take care of your staff,” Beckman said. “It’s super important and you’ll see companies incentivize their existing employees to keep them. It’s just as important as trying to hire new people, keeping your current employees happy and taking care of them is much of the new employment.
Beckman said Bryan-College Station has seen a huge influx of new businesses and that hasn’t been slowed by the pandemic.
“I think as our community grows and businesses grow, there are more and more jobs available,” Beckman said. “You have companies like FUJIFILM adding on, adding new jobs to high-level and lower-level positions.”
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