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State unemployment claims dip below 60,000

​​​COLLEGE STATION – Fewer people in Texas filed for initial unemploy​ment during the week ending Aug. 22, falling to 57,000 claims after increasing to over 68,400 the week prior​.

That brings the total since March 21 to 3.33 million, according to data from the U.S. D​epartment of Labor (DOL).

Despite the decrease in new claims, the number of Texans who continue to claim unemployment insurance increased slightly the week of Aug. 15 to 1.07 million. This indicates people are facing difficulties finding work. 

“The combination of high numbers for both continuing claims and new claims suggests the labor market’s recovery still has a long road ahead,” said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres. 

More people in Texas’ major and border metros filed for initial unemployment during the week ending Aug. 15, reverting the downward trend observed in the past five weeks.​ This matches with the increase in claims statewide that week. 

According to data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, almost 751,000 claims were filed in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, 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 15:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 715,100 claims;

  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 228,000 claims;

  • Austin-Round Rock, 195,700​ claims;

  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 88,000 claims;​

  • El Paso, 75,100 claims;

  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 38,800​​ claims; and

  • Laredo, 23,200 claims.

Retail trade, administrative/support/waste management/remediation services, accommodation and food services, and healthcare and social assistance represented the sectors with the most unemployment claims.

Nearly 58.4 million Americans have filed unemployment claims in the past 23 weeks. New claims fell to around one million in the week ended Aug. 22. 

“Even though U.S. claims declined, they are still reflecting overall weakness in the labor market as they couldn’t break the one million mark,” Torres said. He said the slow pace of improvement shows recovery is still some time away.

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​Source: Real Estate Center

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