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Texas jobless claims rise for third straight week, even without extra benefits

​​​​​​​​​​COLLEGE STATION – ​Even without extra federal unemployment assistance, initial jobless claims continue to increase as the labor market gradually recovers​​​.​​​

Initial claims in Texas increased to​​​​ 43,500 the week ending July 17. About 5.34 ​​million unemployment claims have been filed since​ March 21, 2020, according ​to U.S. Department​ of Labor (DOL) data. 

Continuing unemployment claims increased ​to 185,000 the week ending July 10.

“Transitions from unemployment to employment have likely been reduced by the effect of the pandemic on women,” said Dr. Luis Torres, a research economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center. “Women in the 25-to-34-year age group were more likely than men to leave their jobs to take care of children because of in-person school and daycare closures. This outcome should be reverted once schools and daycares return to in-person learning and caregiving during the fall.

“Other possible factors affecting the transition from unemployment to employment could be the lingering pandemic, early retirement, and the possibility that people are taking more time to consider other career paths,” said Torres. “Record job openings suggest that while​ the economy is still short of pre-COVID employment levels, it is not due to insufficient labor demand.”

​​Last week, U.S. initial claims increased to 419​,200, bringing the 70-week total to 85.7 million. 

More people in all of Texas’ major and border metros filed new unemployment claims the week ending July 10, marking two straight weeks of increases. ​​​

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, 2020:

  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, 1.26 million claims;

  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 1.22 million claims;

  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 368,600 claims;

  • Austin-Round Rock, 311,600 claims;

  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 148,100 claims;

  • El Paso, 126,200 claims;

  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 65,200​​ claims; and

  • Laredo, 36,600 claims. ​​

​Administrative/support/waste management/remediation services registered the highest number of initial claims the week ending July 10. The sector was followed by retail trade, accommodation and food services,​ construction, and healthcare and social assistance.​ 

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​​Source: Texas Real Estate Research ​Center​​​​​​​​​

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