COLLEGE STATION – Initial unemployment insurance claims in Texas decreased to 34,700 the week ending Feb. 13, bringing the total since March 21 to 4.41 million, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
However, Texas’ unemployment claims are still two times greater than pre-pandemic levels.
Continuing unemployment claims increased for the second consecutive week to 352,900 the week ending Feb. 6.
“Layoffs continue to slow, but laid-off workers are struggling to find job opportunities,” said Texas Real Estate Research Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres.
The number of workers receiving benefits through the pandemic unemployment assistance program, which is open to gig workers and others who don’t typically receive benefits, fell the week ending Feb. 13.
U.S. initial claims increased to 861,900 the week ending Feb. 13, bringing the 48-week total to 78.9 million.
According to Torres, the increase in national claims the last two weeks indicates employment continues to struggle to reclaim traction.
Fewer people in all of Texas’ major and border metros filed initial unemployment claims the week ending Feb. 6.
Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the Center has estimated unemployment claims for Texas’ major and border metros since March 21:
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, 1.02 million claims;
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 971,800 claims;
San Antonio-New Braunfels, 300,200 claims;
Austin-Round Rock, 251,500 claims;
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 122,800 claims;
El Paso, 105,800 claims;
Brownsville-Harlingen, 54,100 claims; and
Laredo, 30,800 claims.
The retail trade sector registered the highest number of initial claims the week ending Feb. 6. The sector was followed by administrative/support/waste management/remediation services, health care and social assistance, construction, and accommodation and food services.
The Texas Real Estate Research Center has a wealth of economic information online for free.