City to report possible job vacancies

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The city of Austin is expected to report approximately 1,000 job vacancies in the city’s various departments in November, but not all of the jobs will be filled.

The city’s human resource department is asking the departments to quantify how many vacancies they have for a Nov. 6 job fair held at Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex.

“This 1,000 vacancy figure is not representative of the number of jobs the city of Austin is hiring for,” said city spokesman Kyle Carvell.

While vacancies indicate empty positions, the city is only actively recruiting applicants to fill official job openings, some of which have interviews in progress or offers pending, he said.

“We can run a report to take snapshot of all vacancies,” said Karen Sharp, assistant director of the city’s human resources agency. “This will show any position that isn’t filled. There would be positions that departments don’t intend to fill. For example, if a grant is needed for a position, the position may be vacant.”

There are 84 vacant jobs currently posted on the city’s website, but the number of positions in specific departments that have unfilled positions remains unclear, Sharp said.

“The number of jobs in each department changes daily,” she said. “The thinking behind having this event is that we’ve enjoyed having lower unemployment rates than the rest of the nation, and we see value in highlighting the jobs available in our area to know at least what public sector jobs are available.”

A large portion of the openings are civil service positions, and many of these require prior experience before hiring or promoting, which may require a separate application process, Sharp said.

“For a public organization that is stable, an 8-percent vacancy rate is very normal and that is about what we have right now,” said Sharp. “In the last year, we have had a 7-percent turnover rate.”

Next week, the city will do a more thorough report of where the jobs are and more specific aspects of vacancies.

“The labor market here is very large and employing that many people won’t really affect it,” said economics professor Douglas Dacy.

He said the 1,000 job vacancies probably will not have an impact on the city’s unemployment because it is a relatively small picture of the city’s jobs forecast.

“Hiring this amount of people really won’t affect the unemployment rate, but it will obviously help the people who are hired though,” Dacy said.