Texas sees largest jobless claims jump since JulyTexas sees largest jobless claims jump since Julyhttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=253002020-12-11T06:00:00Z2020-12-11T21:00:00Z

​​​​​​​​​​​​COLLEGE STATION – ​​Texas' initial unemployment claims increased to 39,800 the week ending Dec. 5, up by over 11,000 from the week prior. That is the biggest weekly increase since the week ending July 4.  

This brings the total sinc​e March 21 to 3.95 million, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The number of Texans who continue to claim unemployment insurance increased to 367,900 the week ending Nov. 28, ending 12​ straight weeks of uninterrupted declines. 

The number of laid-off workers receiving benefits through the pandemic unemployment assistance program, which is open to gig workers, freelancers, and self-employed workers who don’t typically receive benefits, also increased the week ending Dec. 5.

According to Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres, the increases in both initial and continuing claims signal that the labor market's recovery is slowing.​​

However, a recent Government Accountability Office report raised concerns with the claims number, including duplicate filings, backlogs, and fraud, which make the weekly readings less reliable than they have been historically.​

"In addition, the claims numbers can be more volatile around the holidays because of challenges with seasonal adjustment," said Torres. 

Fewer people in all of Texas' major and border metros filed new unemployment claims during the week ending Nov. 28.

Initial claim numbers in Austin, Houston, and Brownsville are closer to their historical, pre-pandemic averages, around 1.6 times greater, than the rest of the major and border metros.

As the number of new COVID-19 cases have fallen in El Paso, so did the number of initial claims.

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, 907,600 claims;

  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 861,900 claims;

  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 270,900 claims;

  • Austin-Round Rock, 228,900 claims;

  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 107,900 claims;​

  • El Paso, 95,900 claims;

  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 47,600 claims; and

  • Laredo, 27,600 claims.

Last week, new national unemployment claims increased to 852,900, the biggest weekly increase since March 28. This brings the 37-week total to 70.5 million.

For the third straight week, the construction industry registered the highest number of initial claims during the week ending Nov. 28. Based on the employment numbers, the layoffs are concentrated in the nonresidential construction sector.

Following construction, accommodation and food services, administrative/support/waste management/remediation services, retail trade, and healthcare and social assistance were the sectors with the most unemployment claims through Nov. 28.

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​​​Source: Real Estate Center​​​
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