Houston companies expect uptick in economy, hiring for 2017

Houston Business Journal

Houston-area businesses expect a stronger and more stable 2017, according to a new report from Houston-based Murray Resources.

The overall optimism for 2017 is tied to two factors. First, business leaders feel the worst part of the downturn is behind Houston, as do economists. Second, with turmoil around the 2016 presidential election subsiding, companies are better able to predict the market, according to Keith Wolf, managing director for Murray Resources.

“The markets never like uncertainty and most business owners and hiring managers expect Trump to push a pro-business agenda, from easing drilling regulation to cutting corporate taxes,” Wolf said in an email.

That said, the percentage of respondents who expect the market to get significantly better is at its lowest point since 2012, the report said.

Additionally, 7.7 percent of companies expect to increase their headcount significantly in 2017. That’s the highest percentage since 2013. However, Wolf said, most of the positions for hire are in sales so companies can continue to drive demand for their products or services.

“Anticipated hiring in the human resources function in 2017 is low,” Wolf said in an email. “When the hiring market is functioning at full capacity, HR roles become a larger priority to manage recruiting, on-boarding, benefits administration and training for new employees. So that tells us the market is optimistic, but most companies aren’t expecting a hiring frenzy just yet.”

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