COLLEGE STATION – Initial unemployment insurance claims in Texas decreased to over 41,300 the week ending Sept. 26, the third straight week of declines.
This brings the total number of initial claims to 3.57 million, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
Last week's jobless claim count is the lowest weekly number since the pandemic hit the economy.
Continuing unemployment claims also decreased for the third consecutive week, falling to 909,600 the week ending Sept. 19.
"The downward trend and rate of decline indicate improvements in labor conditions as the labor market seems to be gaining some momentum," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres. "Still, much work needs to be done."
Claims are falling at the national level. Almost 63 million Americans have filed initial unemployment claims in the past 28 weeks. New claims decreased last week to 836,900.
Texas jobless claims have been falling at a faster rate than the nation during the past two weeks.
Some recent layoff announcements—like Fort Worth-based American Airlines—could hinder the labor market's recovery in coming weeks.
"Some industries are still struggling to recover from the pandemic." said Torres. "It's worrisome that some of those temporary layoffs are now becoming permanent, making it more difficult for those workers to return to the labor force."
Fewer people in most of Texas' major and border metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) filed for initial unemployment during the week ending Sept. 19.
Labor market recovery in those metros continued to gain momentum with the exception of Laredo, where new claims increased.
Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the Center estimates that from March 21 to Sept. 19 over 815,400 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 27 weeks, an estimated 775,500 claims were filed in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 247,000 in San Antonio-New Braunfels, and 210,200 in Austin-Round Rock.
Along the border, an estimated 95,400 claims were filed in McAllen, 81,000 in El Paso, 42,100 in Brownsville, and 25,000 in Laredo.
Retail trade, administrative/support/waste management/remediation services, healthcare/social assistance, construction, and accommodation and food services had the most unemployment claims through the week ending Sept. 19.The Real Estate Center has a wealth of economic information online for free.
Source: Real Estate Center