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Texas Unemployment Rate Falls in August

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Area County Rates also Drop 

By Will Johnson              

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – According to a Sept. 18 press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, “I In August, Texas saw a decrease in the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 6.8 percent.”

The TWC Statement further stated this was the fourth 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 11.1 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 4.2 percent, was in the Amarillo MSA. The nearest regional MSA is in the Tyler area which came in at six 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 August showed a decrease as it went from 5.5 percent in July to 4.6 percent last month. The August 2020 unemployment rate, however, was higher than the August 2019 rate of 3.4 percent.

The unemployment rate in Anderson County also dropped as it went from 6.1 percent in July to 5.2 percent in August. The August 2020 unemployment rate, however, was higher than the three percent rate posted in August 2019.

To the south – in Trinity County – the month-to-month rate went down as it went from 8.6 percent in July to 7.5 percent in August. The August 2020 unemployment rate was significantly higher than the 4.8 percent rate posted in August 2019.

The July unemployment rate in Cherokee County also dropped as it went from 8.4 percent in July to 7.6 percent last month. The August 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the four percent rate posted in August 2019.

The largest population center in the immediate area, Angelina County, saw the unemployment rate also fall as it went from 8.3 percent in July to seven percent in August. The August 2020 unemployment rate was significantly higher than the 4.2 percent rate posted in August 2019.

On a month-to-month basis, in Leon County, the statistical data indicated a decrease from 7.8 percent in July to 6.6 percent in August. The August 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 4.7 percent rate posted in August 2019.

Madison County also saw a decrease in the unemployment rate as it went from 7.8 percent in July to 6.8 percent in August. The August 2020 unemployment rate was significantly higher than the five percent rate posted in August 2019.

Rounding out the area counties, Walker County saw the unemployment rate drop as it went from 7.7 percent in July to 6.6 percent in August. The August 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 4.3 percent rate posted in August 2019.

In the aforementioned press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “The Texas unemployment rate continues to move in a positive direction as job seekers and employers adjust to current challenges. TWC will continue our efforts to implement strategies designed to help strengthen the Texas economy.”

In August, according to the TWC media briefing, the Professional and Business Services sector added 33,200 jobs; Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 28,800 jobs; and Government added 25,000 jobs.

TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez stated, “As our labor force continues to grow, it becomes extremely important to build skills that will not only help Texans find jobs but build careers. TWC is proud to help all Texans connect with the necessary training and on the job programs to build the future they desire.”

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

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