AUSTIN – The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched down 0.1 percentage points to 6.5 percent in June, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
Texas added 55,800 nonagricultural jobs last month, marking gains in 13 of the last 14 months. The state added 654,200 jobs since June 2020.
With the job gains, the Texas economy needs to add almost 345,700 jobs to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Hiring ramped up despite worker shortages. Statewide job openings reached record highs in March at 712,000, with a job openings rate of 5.4 percent.
Based on Texas Real Estate Research Center projections, Texas job openings could have risen further in May to 751,000.
“Record job openings suggest that while the economy is still short of pre-COVID employment levels, it is not due to insufficient labor demand,” said Dr. Luis Torres, research economist with the Center. “In addition to childcare, other factors affecting the transition from unemployment to employment could be the lingering pandemic, early retirement, and the possibility that people are rethinking their career paths.”
Amarillo had the lowest nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the state at 4.5 percent. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission had the highest at 10.8 percent.
All employment sectors had seasonally adjusted job gains since June 2020 except for construction, which remained unchanged. The leisure and hospitality sector’s employment jumped 16.7 percent over the year and gained 19,000 jobs since May 2021.
“The effects of expanded vaccination rates were perhaps most notable in leisure, travel, and restaurant consumer spending, improving the sector’s prospects in achieving a full job recovery,” said Torres.
The Texas Real Estate Research Center has a wealth of economic information online for free.