Texas new unemployment claims headed in the right direction Texas new unemployment claims headed in the right direction https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=253322020-12-18T06:00:00Z2020-12-18T15:00:00Z

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​COLLEGE STATION – ​Initial unemployment insurance claims in Texas decreased to 35,300 the week ending Dec. 12, bringing the total since March 21 to almost four million, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). 

"Even though the number of COVID-19 cases has increased in Texas, the increase hasn't been accompanied by renewed government restrictions like the ones observed in other parts of the country," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres.

Continuing unemployment claims increased for the second straight week, hitting 397,800 the week ending Dec. 5.

"This rise in continuing claims is a bad sign for the labor market's recovery, indicating that people are having difficulties in finding new job opportunities," said Torres.

The number of workers receiving benefits through the pandemic unemployment assistance program, which is open to gig workers and others who don’t typically receive benefits, fell the week ending Dec. 12.​

​U.S. initial claims increased for the second consecutive week to 885,200 the week ending Dec. 12. This brings the 39-week total to 69.7 million. ​

"Renewed restrictions and individual efforts to contain the recent upswing in COVID-19 cases in states like California and New York contributed to the national increase in weekly unemployment claims," said Torres.

Additionally​, this increase in U.S. unemployment claims is occurring during the labor department’s payroll survey week, raising the probability for a negative payroll number for December.

More people in all of Texas' major and border metros filed initial unemployment claims the week ending Dec. 5, matching the state's upward trend that same week. 

Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the Center has estimate​d unemployment claims for Texas' major and border metros since March 21:

  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, 916,900 claims;

  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 871,300 claims;

  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 273,200 claims;

  • Austin-Round Rock, 230,700 claims;

  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 109,100 claims;

  • El Paso, 96,900 claims;

  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 48,100 claims; and

  • Laredo, 27,800 claims.​

For the fourth straight week, the construction industry registered the highest number of initial claims the week ending Dec. 5. Based on the data, layoffs are concentrated in the nonresidential construction sector. 

Construction was followed by administrative​/support/waste management/remediation services, accommodation and food services, ​​healthcare and social assistance, and retail trade.​

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​Source: Real Estate Center​​​​

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