Covid-19 has presented many challenges and created opportunities for companies seeking one of the Katy area's location advantages: its dynamic, well-educated and growing talent pool that is part of the Houston MSA. Prior to Covid, unemployment rates for the area ranged from 3.5 % to 5%. At the height of Covid-19, County unemployment rates ranged from 15% to 20%. Katy now has an unemployment rate of 4.0%.
The Katy Area labor shed traverses parts of three counties (Fort Bend, Harris and Waller), and multiple cities including the Cities and Communities of Cypress, Fulshear, Houston, Katy, Richmond, Rosenberg, Sealy, Sugar Land and Jersey Village. Katy Area EDC typically compiles data based on a 30-minute drive time, from the center of the Katy area near Mason Road and I-10. With Katy Are EDC’s GIS database, Zoom Prospector, drive time information from any location in the area can be compiled. Link to Zoom Prospector.
Notable points about the workforce and talent pool pre-Covid -19: Over 38% of adults, 25 years and over, have bachelors and/or graduate degrees. This compares favorably to educational attainment rates of just over 29% in the Houston MSA and the U.S. The Houston MSA provides access to over 60 colleges, universities and technical schools with roughly 380,000 enrolled students. Within a 30 mile radius, there are multiple major universities, colleges and technical schools which produced 31,000+ graduates and over 50,000 graduates in a 50 mile radius.
The talent pool is large with a total population over 3,000,000 people and growing. Median household income in the labor draw is $64,377 with average family income at $101,739, and per capita income is at $32,686. Income is projected to grow over the next five years at rates from 18.5%. The median age of the talent pool is 34.2.
Due to Covid-19 some companies have furloughed or downsized their labor force. Listed here are companies in or near the labor draw that have done so, which may offer workforce recruitment opportunities for new or existing companies.
Business Retention and Expansion Survey
Katy Area Economic Development Council has performed local business retention and expansion surveys and conducted the survey below which summarizes the findings published on April 25, 2019.
The Katy Area Economic Development Council (EDC) commenced with a formal Business Retention Expansion interview and call program, utilizing EDC staff, from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. The purpose of the program was to interview/survey twenty (20) selected firms that were located in the Katy Area. Twenty companies were contacted and in-person meetings were conducted with various types of companies in multiple industry sectors. Companies were asked a series of 26 questions. Below are the responses/findings. In terms of overall business climate 73% of companies rated the Katy area business climate as excellent and 27% rated it as good.
Over 83% of the companies were in unincorporated Harris County, 16% were in the City of Houston/Harris County. One other company was located in the City of Katy/Fort Bend County. All companies were located within Katy ISD.
Year Company Operations Began
One company established operations in the Katy area as early as 1976 and another as late as 2018. 27% of the companies interviewed established operations in the Katy Area in 2015.
The Oil & Gas/Energy sector accounted for 38% of the companies interviewed. Other sectors interviewed included: Manufacturing-27%; Headquarters-22%; Finance and Insurance-17%; Healthcare- 11% and Utilities-5%.
Of the 20 companies interviewed, the total amount of employees represented are as follows:
Full-time employees: 5,000
Part-time employees: 235
Independent Contractors: 415
Workforce/Katy ISD-Katy area
With regards to workforce and employees living in the area, 57% of the companies reported that over 50.1% or more of their employees live in the Katy area or Katy ISD. 21% of companies noted 15% - 30% of their employees live in Katy ISD and 7% of companies said 30.1% – 50% of their employees live in Katy ISD. 14% of companies noted less than 15% of their employees live in Katy ISD.
None of the companies surveyed said turnover was a problem. The lowest turnover rate was 0% and the highest was 9.5% annually. 17% of companies had a turnover rate of 0%.
None of the companies surveyed reported that absenteeism was a problem. The highest absenteeism reported was 5% and the lowest 0%. 27% of the companies noted they had an absenteeism rate of 0%. Some of the reasons noted for the turnover and absenteeism included other competitive job markets and the inability of some candidates to meet company standards.
Difficulty Finding Qualified Workers
With regards to finding qualified workers for all types of positions, 54% of the companies reported not having difficulty, whereas 46% reported having some difficulty. Some of the companies reported having difficulty finding workers in these occupations: geoscientists, physicists, engineers and sales occupations.
Expansion & Employees Needed – Three Years
Companies reported having needs to hire employees as such in aggregate:
Total capital investment for the expansions totaled $12,000,000. About 25% of the companies surveyed reported these numbers.
Significant Company Workforce Changes
Over 69% reported there would be company workforce changes, while 31% reported no workforce changes. Most of the workforce changes reported involve technology, cybersecurity and organic company growth.
Skills Training Needed
Some of the skills training needed for employees over the next three years include: digital computer; risk management; customer service; problem solving; marketing/business development; sales; consulting; engineering; automation & business process improvement (Six Sigma, Lean).
Companies were asked to rate the overall business climate from excellent to good, average, fair and poor. 73% of the companies rated business climate as “excellent;” 27% rated it as “good” and there were no “average, fair or poor” ratings reported.
Closure of Facilities
There were no companies (0%) that reported they would close any Katy area facilities or would have a substantial reduction in workforce.
Percentage of companies responding to barriers to growth of their facility in the Katy area.
Companies were asked to rate their following satisfaction for public services.