State

Texas Economy Adds 32,600 Jobs in January, Unemployment Rate Remains Level

The state unemployment rate remained stable at the turn of the year while Texas added 32,600 private sector jobs. That is half the raw jobs added in December 2020.

Texas’ seasonally-adjusted unemployment total for January 2021 is pegged at 958,746.

Data from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics

The unemployment rate is on par with the nation’s as a whole and has recovered significantly from its surge almost a year ago. Yet, it is still over double its lowest point during the twilight months of 2019.

The Amarillo metropolitan area continues to post the lowest unemployment rate in the state with a 4.9 percent rate in January — staying level with its December 2020 rate.

The Austin-Round Rock and College Station-Bryan areas follow close behind in the mid-5 percent range.

The Texan Mug

Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “The continued job growth in January is a promising sign for our economic recovery.”

Particular industries that improved were the Mining and Logging and the Financial Activities sectors, each increasing employment by 1 percent or above. Mining and Logging employment, however, remains 24 percent lower than its January 2020 level.

The Professional and Business Services sector posted the biggest raw employment increase, adding 12,800 jobs.

Government, meanwhile, shed 1,800 jobs from December to January.

Areas that continue to struggle are Odessa, McAllen-Edinburg, and Beaumont-Port Arthur each above 11 percent unemployment — indicating the pandemic’s effect on the trade and energy industry is still clear and concentrated.

The state rescinded most of its coronavirus restrictions this month, which should have some positive impact on unemployment going forward, but if consumption remains low because of behavioral precautions industries will continue to struggle in recovery.

However, as more and more vaccinations are given, that problem will begin to erode, too.

February’s unemployment statistics will be released later this month.

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