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Texas Unemployment Rate Drops in May

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Area County Rates Also Decrease 

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – According to a June 18 press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, “In May, the seasonally adjusted Texas unemployment rate was 6.5 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from April 2021. Texas added 34,400 total nonagricultural jobs over the month, making gains in 12 of the last 13 months. Texas added a total of 804,200 jobs since May 2020.”

While the Texas unemployment rate dropped from April to May, it is still higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.

Statewide, the highest unemployment level recorded was 9.7 percent, in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 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 3.9 percent, was in the Amarillo MSA. The nearest regional MSA is in the Tyler area which came in at 5.2 percent for the month of May.  

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

In Houston County, the unemployment rate for January showed a decrease as it went from 5.5 percent in April to 5.2 percent in May. The May 2021 unemployment rate was also significantly lower than the May 2020 rate of 6.4 percent.

The unemployment rate in Anderson County also decreased as it went from 5.5 percent in April to 5.2 percent in May. The May 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the 7.4 percent rate posted in May 2020.

To the south – in Trinity County – the month-to-month rate decreased as it went from 7.8 percent in April to 7.6 percent in May. The May 2021 unemployment rate was significantly lower than the 10.7 percent rate posted in May 2020.

The May unemployment rate in Cherokee County also decreased as it went from 6.9 percent in April to 6.4 percent in May. The May 2021 unemployment rate was significantly lower than the 10.9 percent rate posted in May 2020.

The largest population center in the immediate area, Angelina County, also saw the unemployment rate drop as it went from 7.3 percent in April to 6.8 percent in May. The May 2021 unemployment rate was significantly lower than the 10.6 percent rate posted in May 2020.

On a month-to-month basis, in Leon County, the statistical data pointed to a decrease from 7.8 percent in April to 7.3 percent in May. The May 2021 unemployment rate was significantly lower than the 10 percent rate posted in May 2020.

Madison County also saw a decrease in the unemployment rate as it went from 7.1 percent in April to 6.7 percent in May. The May 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the 9.4 percent rate posted in May 2020.

Rounding out the area counties, Walker County continued the trend as it saw the unemployment rate go from 6.8 percent in April to 6.5 percent in May. The May 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the 9.8 percent rate posted in May 2020.

In the aforementioned press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “Texas employers continue to add jobs, strengthening our economy and creating opportunities for Texas workers to connect to a rewarding career. Job seekers can access skills enhancement resources to prepare for these newly created jobs via our local Workforce Solutions partners and through TX.metrixlearning.com.”

In May, according to the TWC media briefing, “The Leisure and Hospitality industry added 14,200 jobs, having recovered 264,100 jobs since May 2020. Professional and Business Services increased by 13,800 positions. Also of note, Manufacturing employment gained 3,200 jobs over the month.”

TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez added, “Continued job expansion and a decreasing unemployment rate are great news for Texas’ workforce. TWC is here to continue providing job seekers with resources like career fairs, hiring events at local workforce boards and job matching services through MyTXCareer.com to connect Texans with employment opportunities.”

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

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