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Texas unemployment claims increase as recovery remains shaky

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​COLLEGE STATION – ​Initial unemployment insurance claims in Texas increased to almost 57,900 the week ending Aug. 29* after decreasing the previous week​​.

This brings the total number of initial claims to 3.36 million, according to data from the U.​S. Department of Labor (DOL).​

Continuing unemployment claims slightly decreased the week of Aug. 22 to 1.03 million.

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

Fewer people in Texas’ major and border metros filed for initial unemployment during the week ending Aug. 22.

“Despite the decrease in new claims, the absolute numbers remain around three times greater than the historical average before the pandemic hit the economy,” said Torres. 

Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the Center estimates that from March 21 to Aug. 22 over 763,900 seasonally adjusted claims were filed in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land. The metro continues to lead the state in total number of claims.

In the past 23 weeks, an estimated 726,700 claims were filed in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 231,600 in San Antonio-New Braunfels, and 198,700 in Austin-Round Rock. 

Along the border, an estimated 89,500 claims were filed in McAllen, 76,300 in El Paso, 39,500 in Brownsville, and 23,600 in Laredo.

Retail trade, administrative​/support/waste management/remediation services, accommodation and food services, and healthcare/social assistance were the sectors with the biggest unemployment claims through the week ending Aug. 22.

​​Almost 59.3 million Americans have filed initial unemployment claims in the past 24 weeks. New claims fell below one million last week to 880,600.

The slow pace of improvement signals there is still a long road ahead for the U.S. labor market.

*Note: The DOL modified the way it adjusts initial claims for seasonality, changing from the multiplicative to the additive methodology. However, the data revisions do not change the overall narrative. 

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​Source: Real Estate Center

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