Texas hits record 12.8% unemployment rate

By R. Hans Miller | Times Senior Reporter
Posted 5/22/20

The Texas Workforce Commission announced a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 12.8% as of May 22 – a record for Texas. During the past month, a TWC press release said, the Texas economy …

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Texas hits record 12.8% unemployment rate

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The Texas Workforce Commission announced a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 12.8% as of May 22 – a record for Texas. During the past month, a TWC press release said, the Texas economy has lost nearly 1.3 million nonfarm jobs statewide.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a measurable effect on the Texas economy” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “While we will continue to provide assistance to those seeking unemployment benefits, many employers are hiring and TWC is working to provide resources to job seekers as well as employers as the state opens up.”

The job losses come across all major industries, according to the TWC announcement. In the Houston area in April 2020, about 110,600 people were unemployed – this year, that number has risen to about 452,300 people according to TWC data. This puts Greater Houston at about 14.2% unemployment, 1.4% higher than the statewide average.

However, three regions in Texas saw lower unemployment. Amarillo came in at a non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of just 8.8% while the Abilene and the College Station-Bryan area both fell at about 8.9% non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate. Fourth runner up for lowest unemployment across the state is the Lubbock area which saw a 9.9% unemployment rate.

The TWC’s announcement said the commission is working to match workers with employers that are hiring as employers reopen safely and strategically.

“We are here to not only help Texas employers match up with the skilled workers they need to recover but also to provide them with answers and the best information available as they safely and strategically reopen,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “TWC is committed to engaging with all businesses across Texas as we continue to strengthen our relationships and proactively work to create and expand opportunities for all. My office remains available to continue helping Texas employers navigate through this pandemic.”

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