Home News COVID-19 Business Updates Texas Unemployment Falls; Remains at 13 Percent

Texas Unemployment Falls; Remains at 13 Percent

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Area County Rates Show Mixed Results

By Will Johnson              

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – According to a June 19 press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, “The Texas economy added 291,000 private sector positions over the past month. In May, Texas saw a decrease in the state unemployment rate (from 13.5) to 13 percent.”  

The TWC Statement further indicated over the past month this is the first decrease in the state unemployment rate since March 2020 when the Texas economy was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Texas is below the national rate of 13.3 percent.

Statewide, the highest unemployment level recorded was 17.8 percent, in the Beaumont-Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) areas.

An MSA is defined as a “… free-standing metropolitan area composed of one or more counties.”

The lowest rate, at 8.5 percent, was in the Amarillo MSA. The nearest regional MSA is in the Tyler area which came in at 11.3 percent for the month of January.   

The unemployment rates for the contiguous counties of Houston County were a mixed bag over the month-to-month time-frame. 

In Houston County, the unemployment rate for May showed an increase as it went from 6.6 percent in April to 7.3 percent last month. The May 2020 unemployment rate was also significantly higher than the May 2019 rate of 2.6 percent.

The unemployment rate in Anderson County also climbed as it went from 7.7 percent in April to 8.2 percent in May. The May 2020 unemployment rate was also significantly higher than the 2.5 percent rate posted in May 2019.

To the south – in Trinity County – the month-to-month rate went up as it went from 10.9 percent in April to 12.1 percent in May. The May 2020 unemployment rate was also significantly higher than the four percent rate posted in May 2019.

The May unemployment rate in Cherokee County dropped slightly as it went from 12.7 percent in April to 12.5 last month. The May 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 3.2 percent rate posted in May 2019.

The largest population center in the immediate area, Angelina County, saw the unemployment rate also fall slightly as it went from 11.8 percent in April to 11.7 percent in May. The May 2020 unemployment rate was also significantly higher than the 3.6 percent rate posted in May 2019.

On a month-to-month basis, in Leon County, the statistical data indicated an increase from 10.3 percent in April to 10.7 percent in May. The May 2020 unemployment rate was also significantly higher than the 3.9 percent rate posted in May 2019.

Madison County also saw an increase in the unemployment rate as it went from nine percent in April to 10.5 percent in May. The May 2020 unemployment rate was also significantly higher than the 3.7 percent rate posted in May 2019.

Rounding out the area counties, Walker County saw the unemployment rate drop as it went from 11.2 percent in April to 10.8 percent in May. The May 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 3.5 percent rate posted in May 2019.

In the aforementioned press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “The Texas Workforce Commission remains determined to help all Texans return to employment or find new careers through innovative skill enhancement programs that will benefit all our communities. The Texas economy is reopening and TWC will continue to connect job seekers with employers through upskilling and personalized services.”

In May, according to the TWC Media briefing, the Leisure and Hospitality Industry added 176,400 jobs. Education and Health Services added 51,900 positions and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 20,700 positions over the month.

TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez stated, “Our workforce is made up of millions of skilled Texans ready to get to work. If you have not already, register at WorkinTexas.com, reach out to your local board and explore the training opportunities available in your area.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.   

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