Statewide NewsTexas Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.6 Percent, Adds 244,000 Jobs

Odessa had the highest region-unemployment rate in June as Texas overall unemployment numbers improved since May.
July 17, 2020
For the second straight month, Texas’s unemployment rate decreased with the addition of 244,000 jobs in the private sector.

Those additions, however, are slightly less than the 300,000 jobs added in May. Regardless, after two months — March and April — of steep unemployment increases caused by the pandemic-driven shutdowns, the economy is slowly regaining its sea legs.

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “June’s labor market numbers demonstrate we are moving in the right direction. As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to evolve, the Texas Workforce Commission is committed to adapting to the needs of our great state.”

Figures from Local Area Unemployment Statistics Report by the Texas Workforce Commission

Texas is still solidly outperforming the U.S. overall, which posted an 11.2 percent unemployment rate in June.

A bright spot from May to June is Beaumont-Port Arthur’s unemployment rate decline of five points to 12.8 percent. Still high, a five-point improvement is a good sign for the energy-heavy region.

The Texan Tumbler

Odessa, however, is still struggling at 13 percent unemployed, albeit an improvement from the previous month. Midland is fairing slightly better than both the aforementioned regions at 9.6 percent unemployed.

And Amarillo had the lowest unemployment rate of any region at six percent.

Specific industries varied from last month. Leisure and hospitality, which had been significantly hindered by the closures, nearly maintained pace from its recovery rate in May, posting a 14 percent increase in jobs regained or 142,700 total jobs.

The Mining and Logging industry meanwhile, lost 6,200 jobs.

The public sector’s May to June change resulted in 18,700 jobs lost, a one percent decrease.

This report paints an encouraging picture, however, it was conducted before the late-June reclosings in which all bars were shuttered and restaurant capacities decreased. The next report will show more thoroughly how those orders impacted the recovery.

While the economies begin to recover, Texas’ hospitalization rate has started to flatten as the recent case increase slows a bit.


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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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