Home News Local News Texas Unemployment Rate Falls in July

Texas Unemployment Rate Falls in July

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Area County Rates also Drop  

By Will Johnson              

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – According to an Aug. 21 press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, “In July, Texas saw a decrease in the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 8.0 percent.”

The TWC Statement further stated this was the third 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 10.2 percent.

Statewide, the highest unemployment level recorded was 12.6 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 5.1 percent, was in the Amarillo MSA. The nearest regional MSA is in the Tyler area which came in at 7.2 percent for the month of July.  

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 July showed a decrease as it went from 5.7 percent in June to 5.4 percent last month. The July 2020 unemployment rate, however, was higher than the July 2019 rate of 3.5 percent.

The unemployment rate in Anderson County also dropped as it went from 6.3 percent in June to 6.1 percent in July. The July 2020 unemployment rate, however, was higher than the 3.2 percent rate posted in July 2019.

To the south – in Trinity County – the month-to-month rate went down as it went from 8.7 percent in June to 8.5 percent in July. The July 2020 unemployment rate was significantly higher than the 4.9 percent rate posted in July 2019.

The July unemployment rate in Cherokee County also dropped as it went from nine percent in June to 8.4 percent last month. The July 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the four percent rate posted in July 2019.

The largest population center in the immediate area, Angelina County, saw the unemployment rate also fall as it went from 8.6 percent in June to 8.2 percent in July. The July 2020 unemployment rate was significantly higher than the 4.4 percent rate posted in June 2019.

On a month-to-month basis, in Leon County, the statistical data indicated a decrease from 8.2 percent in June to 7.7 percent in July. The July 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 4.8 percent rate posted in July 2019.

Madison County also saw a decrease in the unemployment rate as it went from 8.2 percent in June to 7.7 percent in July. The July 2020 unemployment rate was significantly higher than the 5.2 percent rate posted in July 2019.

Rounding out the area counties, Walker County saw the unemployment rate drop as it went from 7.8 percent in June to 7.6 percent in July. The July 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 4.5 percent rate posted in July 2019.

In the aforementioned press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “July’s unemployment numbers continue to show the underlying strength of Texans and our economy. TWC remains committed to our goal of creating skills enhancement and career opportunities for Texans to continue to keep Texas as the top state to live and work.”

In July, according to the TWC media briefing, the Texas economy lost 12,300 private sector positions over the past month. The government sector, however, offset private employment losses, by adding 43,700 jobs. Professional and business services added 16,400 positions, while education and health services added 10,300 positions over the month.

TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez stated, “Texas’ declining unemployment rate demonstrates the strength of our workforce. TWC continues to dedicate funds, staff and effort to ensuring Texans have the opportunity to improve their skills through programs like Registered Apprenticeships, the Skills Development Fund and our Skills Enhancement Initiative.”

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

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