The endless pandemic’s effect on the job market is still taking casualties, another 900,000 American added to unemployment rolls in the past week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That beat economists’ expectations by around 35,000.
In Texas, the numbers have been fairly consistently dreary. “We’re still more or less at a holding pattern, pretty stable, between about 9-to-12 thousand claims each week, and that’s been the case since October,” says Parker Harvey, principal economist for the Gulf Coast Workforce Board and Workforce Solutions. Houston numbers come out later today. There was a slight uptick in the number of applications filed in the first week of January in Texas but that generally reflects those who waited until after the holidays to submit paperwork.
April was the peak at about 77,000 claims in a week, and we’ve been holding at under 12,000 claims weekly recently, but for context, adds Harvey, the average in Texas pre-pandemic was around 4,000 a week.
The industries hardest hit remain the same: travel and leisure. The sectors bouncing back most readily are what you’d expect: white collar jobs that can be conducted remotely.
Houston’s numbers come out later today.
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