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Initial unemployment claims receding but remain elevated

​​​​​​​COLLEGE STATION – In the week ending May 9, nearly 141,000 initial unemployment insurance claims were filed in Texas. That brings the total since March 21 to 1.97 million, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). 

Unemployment claims fell for the third straight week after peaking on April 18

​The Real Estate Center estimates the unemployment rate across the state could be as high as 15 percent in April. Unemployment could hit 17.8 percent in May. 

Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the Real Estate Center estimates that from March 21 to May 2, over 405,700 seasonally adjusted claims were filed in Dallas-Fort Worth. That is the highest ​of Texas’ major metros. 

In Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, an estimated 388,700, 127,900, and 46,500 claims were filed during that time, respectively. 

At the metro level, the Center estimates May’s unemployment rate could be 15.4 percent in Houston, 13.5 percent in San Antonio, 13.4 percent in DFW, and 6.9 percent in Austin.

Accommodation and food services, retail trade, and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services represented the sectors with the biggest unemployment claims.

The data series shows the number of individuals who enter unemployment each week, but it says little about individuals who leave the ranks of the unemployed when they become re-employed.

“In the coming weeks, the number of individuals who continue to file unemployment claims each week and the duration of unemployment could become the most important high-frequency indicators​ of labor market developments​,” said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres. 

Nationwide, nearly 36.5 million unemployment claims have been filed since March 21. The Center estimates the U.S. employment rate could be 18.7 percent in May. 

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​Source: Real Estate Center​

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