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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 an Aug. 20 press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, “In August, the seasonally adjusted Texas unemployment rate was 5.9 percent, a decrease of 0.3 percentage points from July 2021. Texas added 39,300 total nonagricultural jobs over the month, making gains in 15 of the last 16 months. Texas added a total of 681,000 jobs since August 2020.

While the Texas unemployment rate dropped from July to August, it still remains higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.2 percent.

Statewide, the highest unemployment level recorded was 8.9 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 3.6 percent, was in the Amarillo MSA. The nearest regional MSA is in the Tyler area which came in at 4.7 percent for the month of August.  

Just 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 August showed a decline as it went from 5.3 percent in July to 4.9 percent in August. The August 2021 unemployment rate, however, was higher than the August 2020 rate of 4.3 percent.

The unemployment rate in Anderson County also decreased as it went from 5.5 percent in July to 4.6 percent in August. The August 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the 5.1 percent rate posted in August 2020.

To the south – in Trinity County – the month-to-month rate decreased as it went from 7.8 percent in July to 7.1 percent in August. The August 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the 7.2 percent rate posted in August 2020.

The August unemployment rate in Cherokee County also showed a decrease as it went from 6.8 percent in July to 6.1 percent in August. The August 2021 unemployment rate was also significantly lower than the 7.3 percent rate posted in August 2020.

The largest population center in the immediate area, Angelina County, also saw the unemployment rate drop as it went from 7.2 percent in July to 6.6 percent in August. The August 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the 6.8 percent rate posted in August 2020.

On a month-to-month basis, in Leon County, the statistical data pointed to a decrease from 7.5 percent in July to 6.9 percent in August. The August 2021 unemployment rate, however, was higher than the 6.7 percent rate posted in August 2020.

Madison County also saw a decrease in the unemployment rate as it went from 7.2 percent in July to 6.2 percent in August. The August 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the 6.6 percent rate posted in August 2020.

Rounding out the area counties, Walker County continued the trend as it saw the unemployment rate go from 6.9 percent in July to 6.1 percent in August. The August 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the 6.5 percent rate posted in August 2020.

In the aforementioned press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “The continued decrease in the unemployment rate and the positive job growth is good news for Texas. The demand for middle skills jobs — those requiring less than a bachelor’s degree, but more than a high school diploma — continues to grow and TWC is committed to ensuring the state’s workforce has the tools needed to succeed in these high demand jobs.”

In August, according to the TWC media briefing, “The Professional and Business Services industry gained 29,600 jobs over the month. Education and Health Services employment added 17,800 positions. Also of note, Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 7,100 jobs.”

TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez added, “Our Texas workforce is resilient and opportunities to advance your career – or start a new one – continue to grow in our state. Thanks to TWC programs like skills training through Metrix Learning, Texans have access to over 5,000 free courses to learn or refine skills to land the new jobs created each month in Texas.”

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

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