lone star working

Texas clocks in as No. 11 in new report of best job markets nationwide

Texas' job market still has room for improvement. Photo via Getty Images

With the overall economy showing signs of bouncing back from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas is also displaying room for improvement with an employment sector that lands outside the top 10 in a new nationwide study.

B2B sales recruiting experts Peak Sales Recruiting designated the Lone Star State No. 11 in their 2023 report that ranks the best and worst job markets across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, the American Southeast has some of the strongest labor markets in 2023, the report states. Louisiana earned the crown as the No. 1 state, and seven additional Southern states earned spots in the top 10: South Carolina (No. 2), Florida (No. 3), Virginia (No. 4), Georgia (No. 5), Alabama (No. 7), Kentucky (No. 8), and Arkansas (No. 9).

"The Southeast is...driven by strong employment growth, job openings and quits – meaning job seekers have their pick of the litter," the report says.

Rounding out the top 10 are Idaho in No. 5, and Delaware in No. 10.

The report examined the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on employment growth, layoffs, and resignation rates, job openings, and more to determine their rankings.

Perhaps controversially, popular states like New York and California were at the bottom of the list with the worst job markets, ranking No. 50 and No. 51, respectively.

"Despite its reputation as a hub for innovation and technological advancement, California faces significant challenges in its labor market," the report says. "Average weekly wages in the state have dropped by 6.9 percent, while 8.7 percent of workers are underemployed and the quit and job opening rates were lower than in most other states."

That might explain why Californians keep moving to Austin.

For Texas employers looking to improve their employee culture and retention, Peak Sales Recruiting offers five tips: embracing the rise of remote work opportunities; prioritizing diversity and inclusion among staff recruitment; offering competitive compensation packages and benefits to improve employee retention; focusing on employees' growth within the company; and providing a good workplace culture.


This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Originally expected to raise $150 million, Mercury's latest fund is the largest raised to date. Photo via mercuryfund.com

A Houston venture capital firm has announce big news of its latest fund.

Mercury, founded in 2005 to invest in startups not based in major tech hubs on either coast, closed its latest fund, Mercury Fund V, at an oversubscribed amount of $160 million. Originally expected to raise $150 million, Fund V is the largest fund Mercury has raised to date.

“We are pleased by the substantial support we received for Fund V from both new and existing investors and thank them for placing their confidence in Mercury,” Blair Garrou, co-founder and managing director of Mercury Fund, says in a news release. “Their support is testament to the strength of our team, proven investment strategy, and the compelling opportunities for innovation that exist in cities across America.”

The fund's limited partners include new and existing investors, including endowments at universities, foundations, and family offices. Mercury reports that several of these LPs are based in the central region of the United States where Mercury invests. California law firm Gunderson Dettmer was the fund formation counsel for Mercury.

Fresh closed, Fund V has already made investments in several companies, including:

  • Houston-based RepeatMD, a patient engagement and fintech platform for medical professionals with non-insurance reimbursed services and products
  • Houston and Cheyenne Wyoming-based financial infrastructure tech platform Brassica, which raised its $8 million seed round in April
  • Polco, a Madison, Wisconsin-based polling platform for local governments, school districts, law enforcement, and state agencies
  • Chicago-based MSPbots, a AI-powered process automation platform for small and mid-sized managed service providers

Mercury's investment model is described as "operationally-focused," and the firm works to provide its portfolio companies with the resources needed to grow rapidly and sustainably. Since 2013, the fund has contributed to creating more than $9 billion of enterprise value across its portfolio of over 50 companies.

“Over the past few years there has been a tremendous migration of talent, wealth and know-how to non-coastal venture markets and this surge of economic activity has further accelerated the creation of extraordinary new companies and technology," says Garrou. "As the first venture capital firm to have recognized the attractiveness of these incredible regions a dozen years ago, we are excited to continue sourcing new opportunities to back founders and help these cities continue to grow and thrive.”

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