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Texas jobless claims reverse downward trend

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​COLLEGE STATION – ​Initial unemployment insurance claims in Texas increased to nearly 42,900 the week ending Oct. 10, reversing a four-week downward trend. 

This brings the total number of initial claims to 3.65 million, according to data from the U.​S. Department of Labor (DOL).​

“The slowing claims decrease is worrisome, signaling distress in labor market conditions and reaffirming that much work still needs to be done,” said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres.

Last week’s number, though an improvement over previous months’ numbers, is higher than expected.

“For eight months now, we have had more than 40,000 people filing for unemployment each week,” continued Dr. Torres. “During the Great Recession, unemployment claims peaked at 49,000 the week of Sept. 27, 2008.”​

Continuing unemployment claims decreased for the fifth consecutive week, falling to 734,400 the week ending Oct. 3. 

“The bright spot is that more people continue to the leave the ranks of the unemployed, signaling improvements in the labor market,” Torres said. “However, we don’t know if these people have become re-employed or have permanently​ left the labor force.”

Claims also reverted a downward trend at the national level. ​​Almost 64.5 million Americans have filed initial unemployment claims in the past 30 weeks. New claims increased last week to 898,400.​ 

The U.S. is struggling more than Texas to decrease the number of people filling for unemployment, indicating labor market recovery in other parts of the country is on more uneven ground.​

Labor market recovery in Texas’ major and border metropolitan statistical areas remains precarious as more people filed for initial unemployment in those metros during the week ending Oct. 3. 

Almost 1,100 people filed new unemployment claims in Brownsville, almost double the previous week (550 claims). 

Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the Center estimates that from March 21 to Oct. 3 ​over 835,300 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 29 weeks, an estimated 795,200 claims were filed in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 252,700 in San Antonio-New Braunfels, and 214,900 in Austin-Round Rock. ​

Along the border, an estimated 98,000 claims were filed in McAllen, 83,000 in El Paso, 43,800 in Brownsville, and 25,600 in Laredo.​​

Healthcare/social assistance​, administrative​/support/waste management/remediation services, ​​retail trade, construction, and accommodation and food services had the most unemployment claims through the week ending Oct. 3.​​

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​Source: Real Estate Center​

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