Statewide NewsTexas Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.2%, Total Jobs Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels

The Lone Star State has added jobs in 18 of the last 19 months.
December 17, 2021
Employment in Texas has reached nearly 13 million non-agricultural jobs, eclipsing the pre-pandemic high set in February of 2020.

From October, the unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percent with the addition of 75,100 jobs. Since November of last year, 698,700 jobs have been added to the rolls.

“By reaching nearly 13 million jobs last month, Texas has surpassed our pre-pandemic employment levels — a remarkable achievement and testament to our welcoming business climate and strong workforce,” Governor Greg Abbott said in a release.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Amarillo continues to post the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.1 percent. Austin-Round Rock follows closely behind at 3.2 percent.

Data from

The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission and Beaumont-Port Arthur regions have the highest unemployment rates, both above 7 percent.

The Texan Tumbler

On an industry basis, the Professional and Business Services sector added about 23,000 jobs and the Leisure and Hospitality sector added 12,500 jobs — showing that bars, restaurants, and other similar businesses are continuing recovery after a devastating 2020.

“Reaching this milestone for job creation in Texas shows the strength of our economy,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “The Lone Star State continues to create opportunities for Texans to succeed and TWC has many resources to help both employers and job seekers find success in our state.”

While Texas has reached new employment highs, its unemployment rate is still above both its lows set in late 2019 and the United States’ current unemployment rate of 4.2 percent.

The state and local closure orders decimated much of the economy, and especially the hospitality industry so reliant on foot traffic.

Its effects still linger, but steady improvement has been made in the last year.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.

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