COLLEGE STATION – Fewer people in Texas filed for initial unemployment during the first week without the additional $600 weekly from the federal government, continuing the downward trend observed in the past five weeks.
In the week ending Aug. 8, Texas’ initial unemployment claims decreased to a little over 52,900. That brings the total since March 21 to 3.2 million, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
“Even with the significant fall in claims during the past week, the absolute number of claims still remains high, signaling that the job market recovery has a long road ahead,” said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres.
Despite the decrease in new claims, the number of Texans who continue to claim unemployment insurance increased the week of Aug. 1 to 1.2 million. This indicates people are facing difficulties finding work.
Nationally, there were 5.9 million job openings in June with nearly 16.4 million people unemployed in July, suggesting a scarcity of job options.
According to data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the number of initial unemployment claims decreased the week of Aug. 1 in Texas’ major and border metros. This marks the fourth consecutive week of declines.
With almost 722,100 claims, Houston has the largest cumulative number of unemployment claims of any Texas metro.
Here are Center estimates for the other three major and the four border metros from March 21 to August 1:
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 689,900 claims;
San Antonio-New Braunfels, 220,000 claims;
Austin-Round Rock, 189,800 claims;
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 84,100 claims;
El Paso, 72,500 claims;
Brownsville-Harlingen, 37,100 claims; and
Laredo, 22,300 claims.
Administrative/support/waste management/remediation services, accommodation and food services, retail trade, and healthcare and social assistance represented the sectors with the biggest unemployment claims.
Nearly 56.3 million Americans have filed unemployment claims in the past 21 weeks. New claims fell below one million to around 962,800 in the first week of August. This is the second consecutive week of decreases.
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