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Texas jobless claims hit post-pandemic low

​​​​​​COLLEGE STATION – ​Initial unemployment insurance claims in Texas decreased to over 51,600 the week ending Sept. 12 after increasing the previous two week​​s​​.

This brings the total number of initial claims to 3.48 million, according to data from the U.​S. Department of Labor (DOL).​

Last week’s jobless claim count is the lowest weekly number since the pandemic hit the economy. 

Continuing unemployment claims also decreased, falling to 988,500 the week ending Sept. 5. 

“Even though absolute numbers for both weekly initial and continuing claims remain high, the fall in both unemployment numbers allude to some improvements in labor conditions​,” ​said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres. 

More people in Texas’ major metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) filed for initial unemployment during the week ending Sept. 5, but the border metros saw fewer new claims. 

“Initial claims were expected to increase due to the increase in the statewide numbers during the week of Sept. 5, but only increased in the four major MSAs, not in the border ones.” Torres said. ​​​”The Texas Triangle MSAs represented around 56.3 percent of the state’s increase in claims during that week.”

However, Torres expects a decrease in new claims​​ for both major and border MSAs the week ending Sept. 12 to match the state’s decrease.

Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the Center estimates that from March 21 to Sept. 5 ​over 794,300 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 25 weeks, an estimated 754,900 claims were filed in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 240,700 in San Antonio-New Braunfels, and 205,300 in Austin-Round Rock. ​

Along the border, an estimated 92,900 claims were filed in McAllen, 79,000 in El Paso, 41,000 in Brownsville, and 24,500 in Laredo.

The total number of jobless claims in all metros remains around three times greater than the historical average before the pandemic hit the economy.

Retail trade, administrative​/support/waste management/remediation services, healthcare/social assistance​​, and accommodation and food services had the biggest unemployment claims through the week ending Sept. 5.​

​​Almost 61 million Americans have filed initial unemployment claims in the past 26 weeks. New claims decreased last week to 859,600​.

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​Source: Real Estate Center​

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