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Texas Unemployment Falls Below 10 Percent

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First Time since March

By Will Johnson              

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – According to a July 17 press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, “The Texas economy added 243,900 private sector positions over the past month. In June, Texas saw a decrease in the state unemployment rate to 8.6 percent.”

The TWC Statement further stated this was the second consecutive monthly decrease and the lowest rate since March 2020 when the Texas economy was initially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Texas is below the national rate of 11.1 percent.

Statewide, the highest unemployment level recorded was 13 percent, in the Odessa 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 six percent, was in the Amarillo MSA. The nearest regional MSA is in the Tyler area which came in at eight percent for the month of June.  

Just like the state numbers, the unemployment rates for the contiguous counties of Houston County all showed a decrease over the month-to-month timeframe. 

In Houston County, the unemployment rate for June showed a decrease as it went from 7.4 percent in May to 5.8 percent last month. The June 2020 unemployment rate, however, was higher than the June 2019 rate of 3.4 percent.

The unemployment rate in Anderson County also dropped as it went from 8.3 percent in May to 6.5 percent in June. The June 2020 unemployment rate, however, was higher than the three percent rate posted in June 2019.

To the south – in Trinity County – the month-to-month rate went down as it went from 12 percent in May to nine percent in June. The June 2020 unemployment rate was significantly higher than the 4.6 percent rate posted in June 2019.

The June unemployment rate in Cherokee County also dropped as it went from 12.5 percent in May to 9.2 percent last month. The June 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 3.9 percent rate posted in June 2019.

The largest population center in the immediate area, Angelina County, saw the unemployment rate also fall as it went from 11.8 percent in May to 8.9 percent in June. The June 2020 unemployment rate was significantly higher than the 4.2 percent rate posted in June 2019.

On a month-to-month basis, in Leon County, the statistical data indicated a decrease from 10.9 percent in May to 8.5 percent in June. The June 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 4.6 percent rate posted in June 2019.

Madison County also saw a decrease in the unemployment rate as it went from 10.7 percent in May to 8.5 percent in June. The June 2020 unemployment rate was significantly higher than the five percent rate posted in June 2019.

Rounding out the area counties, Walker County saw the unemployment rate drop as it went from 10.9 percent in May to eight percent in June. The June 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 4.4 percent rate posted in June 2019.

In the aforementioned press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “June’s labor market numbers demonstrate we are moving in the right direction. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the Texas Workforce Commission is committed to adapting to the needs of our great state.”

In June, according to the TWC Media briefing, the Leisure and Hospitality industry added 142,700 jobs. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 44,200 positions, and Other Services added 21,500 positions over the month.

TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez stated, “The Texas Workforce Commission remains determined to provide Texans the guidance and resources needed to develop their skills and build a career. TWC’s recent Skills Enhancement Initiative provides online skills training to all unemployed Texans free of charge. Those interested should visit our Skills Enhancement Initiative Webpage.”

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

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