Unemployment rates up slightly in latest report

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

June 23, 2022

According to data released by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) last week, Hill and Bosque county unemployment rates rose slightly in May but remain well below the rates from one year ago.

In May, Hill County’s unemployment rate was reported at 3.5 percent, up from 3.2 percent in April. There were a reported 602 unemployed individuals out of a total civilian labor force of 17,063.

Last May, Hill County had an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent, and the county began this year over the four-percent mark with a rate of 4.4 percent recorded in January.

The recent numbers are far better than the pandemic-related highs seen over the past two years. The highest rate recorded in Hill County in 2020 was 9.3 percent in May 2020, and the highest rate of 2021 was 6.1 percent in January.

Bosque County’s May unemployment rate was recorded at 3.4 percent in May, up slightly from April’s rate of 3.1 percent. There were 289 unemployed individuals out of a total Bosque County workforce of 8,626 in May. A year earlier, the county’s rate stood at 4.4 percent for May 2021.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted Texas unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in May, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points from April 2022.

Texas added 74,200 total nonagricultural jobs in May 2022. For the seventh consecutive month, the state set new employment highs as total nonfarm jobs reached 13,357,100. Texas has added a total of 762,400 positions since May 2021.

“Texas continues to set records for employment growth with more than 250,000 jobs added from the beginning of this year through May,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “Training and upskilling are crucial to maintain this level of employment growth, and TWC remains committed to offering innovative training programs.”

Leisure and Hospitality gained 27,600 jobs over the month. Professional and Business Services added 15,300 positions, followed by Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment which grew by 11,700 jobs. Three major industries surpassed their pre-COVID employment levels for the first time in May 2022 — Construction, Manufacturing, and Leisure and Hospitality. This brought the total to eight industries that have recovered from the pandemic-related downturn, joining Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, Information, Financial Activities, Professional and Business Services, and Education and Health Services.

“Regardless of your background or skill level, TWC offers pathways to a successful career for all Texans,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “In the coming months, we look forward to highlighting opportunities available in the Texas labor market. Our upcoming GRACE Conference aims to showcase the value of hiring second chance individuals to bolster our Texas economy.”

The Amarillo and Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) recorded May’s lowest unemployment rates among Texas MSAs with a not seasonally adjusted rate of 2.7 percent, followed by College Station-Bryan at 2.9 percent, then Lubbock at 3.0 percent.

“TWC is dedicated to fostering new programs throughout the state to help Texas employers train their current and future workforce for their specific and unique business needs,” said TWC Representing Employers Aaron Demerson.

“TWC is here for all Texas employers large and small. Through the power of new initiatives like Texas Interns Unite!, we look forward to creating career opportunities for our future workforce and keeping Texas the best place to do business.”

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