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RECON for October 9, 2020RECON for October 9, 20202020-10-09T05:00:00Z2020-10-09T05:00:00Z
RECON Real Estate Center
6th street bar district in Austin at night
Texas bars allowed to reopen with restrictions next week, state jobless claims fall for fourth straight week, and Texas Workforce Commission receives $28 million for dislocated workers. Read today's RECON for the details on this story and more. (Downtown Austin photo from Center files.)
October 9, 2020

Texas jobless claims fall for fourth straight week

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – ​​Weekly initial unemployment claims in Texas fell to 41,800 in the week ending Oct. 3, bringing the total since March 21 to 3.6 million, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).​​

This is the fourth straight week of decreases following an upward revision to the previous week's numbers. ​​

"Still much work needs to be done as the revision pushed up the numbers, slowing the rate of decrease with respect to previous weeks,​​​" said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres. 

The number of Texans who continue to claim unemployment insurance decreased the week of Sept. 26 to 807,200.

Unlike with the U.S. as a whole, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is not the main driver of jobless claims in Texas, representing around 15 percent of claims at the state level compared with 58 percent nationally.

Fewer people in the Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio metros filed new unemployment claims during the week ending Sept. 26, the third straight week of improvements. New claims also fell in Laredo after increasing the previous week.

New claims increased in Austin, reverting a two-week downward trend. More claims were also filed in El Paso, McAllen, and Brownsville after decreasing the previous three weeks. 

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, 825,200 claims;
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 784,500 claims;
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 249,700 claims;
  • Austin-Round Rock, 212,400 claims;
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 96,600 claims;​
  • El Paso, 82,000 claims;
  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 42,700 claims; and
  • Laredo, 25,300 claims.
Administrative/support/waste management/remediation services, retail trade, healthcare and social assistance, construction, and accommodation and food services represented the sectors with the most unemployment claims.

Last week, new national unemployment claims decreased to 834,000, bringing the 29-week total to 63.6 million. The previous week's numbers were also revised upward.
Save the Date! The Real estate center will host an exclusive livestream event on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 at 10 a.m. cst. Feat. Center Chief Economist Dr. Jim Gaines & other economic experts
The Real Estate Center will host its first-ever Texas Real Estate Today livestream on Friday, Oct. 23, at 10:00 a.m. CST. Join us as Center Chief Economist Dr. Jim Gaines and other economic experts discuss how Texas' housing markets reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more event updates.

TWC receives $28M for dislocated workers

​​​​AUSTIN (Texas Workforce Commission) – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has received $28 million to provide temporary jobs related to COVID-19 recovery. This is in addition to the $12 million already received from the Department of Labor’s Disaster National Dislocated Worker Grant (NDWG) program. 

The funds are being used assist local health departments with jobs related to virus response, food banks, and other humanitarian work. The grant supports the delivery of career services, training, and supportive services including transportation and supplies to help support a successful return to work.

The dislocated worker grants are used during natural disasters. Texas received a similar grant in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The grants provide funds for jobs specifically designed for recovery efforts.

If you or someone you know has been dislocated as a result of COVID-19, please email TWC at ndwg@twc.state.tx.us. 
Podcast 450Just like the rest of the economy, the Texas housing market took a blow when stay-at-home orders hit the nation. However, the market weathered the pandemic better than expected. Real Estate Center Senior Data Analyst Joshua Roberson shares his insights on our latest podcast.

Texas bars may reopen with restrictions

AUSTIN (Office of the Texas Governor) – Gov. Greg Abbott has allowed bars and similar establishments to open up to 50 percent capacity in conjunction with county officials. 

In counties where COVID-19 hospitalizations are below 15 percent of hospital capacity, judges can opt their county into opening bars beginning Oct. 14, provided they assist in enforcing health protocols. 

Dance floors at bars and similar establishments must remain closed. Consistent with protocols for restaurants, all patrons must be seated while eating or drinking (with limited exceptions for sampling at breweries, distilleries, and wineries), and they must wear masks when they are not seated at a table. Additionally, tables are limited to no more than​ six individuals, and all establishments must follow specific curfew guidelines. 

The order also increases the occupancy levels for all business establishments other than bars to 75 percent.  
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$150M distribution center slated for El Paso Airport

​​​EL PASO (El Paso Times) – Marmaxx Operating Group, a TJX Cos. unit, is planning a 1.7 million-sf warehouse and distribution center at Global Reach Dr. and George Perry Blvd. 

Marmaxx will lease the​ 200 acres, owned by the El Paso International Airport, for $595,494 over 40 years. 

The city and county will provide $14.3 million in tax rebates and other incentives. El Paso Water will pay $1.4 million to relocate a water well from the site. 

The $150 million facility will distribute products to over 1,130 Marshalls clothing stores. It will create 950 jobs within five years.

Marmaxx will later add an additional 346,104 sf to the project, bringing the total to over two million sf. 

Construction will take two years. 
Looking for more real estate news? Our NewsTalk Texas feed has all the latest headlines. Here's a sample:

3Q2020 TWC reimbursement payment deadline extended

AUSTIN (Texas Workforce Commission) – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has extended payment deadlines for 3Q2020 for designated reimbursing employers that are required to pay a share of unemployment benefits. 

Designated reimbursing employers include non-profits, local governments, school districts, and other qualifying employers who reimburse TWC for the full amount of unemployment benefits to be paid to eligible former employees.

The due date has been extended from Nov. 30, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020. TWC still needs wage reports by Nov. 2, 2020, for ensuring accurate processing of unemployment claims. 

Reimbursing employers are due to receive 50 percent credit for their bill under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act legislation, which TWC is working to implement by the end of October. Employers will receive additional information regarding their reimbursements later this month.

This action also waives interest and penalty ​​charges during the same time period and does not reduce or eliminate this payment for reimbursing employers. Instead, it provides more time for these employers to secure resources to meet these and other liabilities as they deal with the implications of COVID-19. This extension also does not delay or prevent Texans who qualify for unemployment benefits from receiving these resources.
market viewer screen shotTexas Realtors' MarketViewer tool helps members and their clients quickly understand the market statistics in their area. This powerful tool is a member benefit available exclusively to Texas Realtors and local Realtor associations in Texas. Data are compiled and analyzed through a research agreement between Texas Realtors, the Real Estate Center, and all MLSs across the state. 

Austin industrial market defies expectations in 3Q2020

​​​AUSTIN (CBRE) – The local industrial market defied expectations in 3Q2020, according to CBRE.

Strong tenant demand for distribution space drove the market to its 25th consecutive quarter of positive new demand. Net absorption increa​​sed to nearly 696,000 sf. 

Average asking rates rose $0.24 over the quarter to $9.88 per sf.

Vacancy dropped 40 basis points to 9.7 percent. 

The development pipeline also remained robust with 1.34 million sf under construction. There were no deliveries last quarter. 
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207K-sf garage parks next to SAISD’s HQ

​​SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Business Journal) – The San Antonio Independent School District is developing a 206,882-sf parking garage at 727 N. Flores St. 

The four-story garage will be adjacent to the district’s new headquarters building, which opens early next year.

Joeris General Contractors is the general contractor. 

Office project in The Woodlands delivers

THE WOODLANDS (REBusiness Online) – Transwestern Real Estate Services has completed the 134,938-sf Research Forest Lakeside Building 9. 

The six-story, Class A office building includes floor-to-ceiling glass, a climate-controll​​ed parking garage, and p​​​roximity​ to a four-acre green space.

The 77-acre Research Forest Lakeside mixed-use development will include 1.8 million sf of commercial space.
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Material herein is published according to the fair-use doctrine of U.S. copyright laws related to non-profit, educational institutions. Items attributed to sources other than the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University should not be reprinted without permission of the original source. To send news items for consideration, e-mail Hayley Rieder. The Real Estate Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station - the heart of the Research Valley.

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