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June Southeast Texas unemployment rate drops 5% from May, remains second highest in state

The Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA is tied for the second highest unemployment rate in the state.

AUSTIN, Texas — The latest unemployment numbers for Southeast Texas show a 5% drop from May but show the region to have second highest rate in the state.

The Beaumont-Port Arthur "metropolitan statistical area," or MSA, was tied with the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA for the second highest June 2020 unemployment rate in Texas at 12.8% according to a report released by the Texas Workforce Commission on Friday morning.

Southeast Texas did show some improvement from the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with  a 5% drop from May 2020 when the region had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 17.8% according to the report.

“June’s labor market numbers demonstrate we are moving in the right direction,” TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel was quoted as saying in the report.. “As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to evolve, the Texas Workforce Commission is committed to adapting to the needs of our great state.”

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Currently the Odessa MSA has the highest rate at 13% followed by Southeast Texas and the McAllen area.

In June of last yer Southeast Texas' unemployment rate was 5.8% and number two in the state.

The overall unemployment rate for the U.S. in June 2020 was 11.2% with more than 18 million unemployed across the country.

Texas is below the national rate of 11.1% and added 243,900 private sector jobs in the past month and saw an overall 8.6% decrease across the state the report said.

For the state June was the second consecutive month to show a decrease and the lowest since March 2020 when the state was initially impacted by the coronavirus according to the report.

From the Texas Workforce Commission report

The Texas economy added 243,900 private sector positions over the past month. In June, Texas saw a decrease in the state unemployment rate to 8.6 percent. This is the second consecutive monthly decrease and the lowest rate since March 2020 when the Texas economy was initially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Texas is below the national rate of 11.1 percent.

“June’s labor market numbers demonstrate we are moving in the right direction,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Bryan Daniel. “As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to evolve, the Texas Workforce Commission is committed to adapting to the needs of our great state.”

In June, the Leisure and Hospitality industry added 142,700 jobs. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 44,200 positions, and Other Services added 21,500 positions over the month.

“The Texas Workforce Commission remains determined to provide Texans the guidance and resources needed to develop their skills and build a career,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “TWC’s recent Skills Enhancement Initiative provides online skills training to all unemployed Texans free of charge. Those interested should visit our Skills Enhancement Initiative Webpage.”

The Amarillo Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded June’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a not seasonally adjusted rate of 6.0 percent, followed by the Abilene MSA with the second lowest rate of 6.4 percent. The College Station-Bryan MSA recorded the third lowest rate of 6.5 percent.

 “Texas employers continue to prove they are resilient and innovative,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “TWC is proud to partner with employers across the state to provide valuable resource information and training opportunities to ensure Texas remains the top state in which to do business.”

Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit TexasLMI.com.

The Texas Labor Market & Career Information Data for July is scheduled to be released on Friday, August 21, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. (CDT).

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