The latest statistics released by the Texas Workforce Commission show the number of unemployed East Texans dipped from September to October as the workforce in the area contracted.
The downtick in the city and county drove the unemployment rate under what was reported in August before the rate spiked in September, according to the data. That trend held true statewide, locally and regionally.
Within the city limits, there were 865 people out of a 13,900-person workforce who were unemployed, a 6.2% unemployment rate. The number of workers in the city shrank slightly, from 13,921, and the number of unemployed people declined from September to October from 1,031.
From August to September, the rate had climbed from 6.3% to 7.4%, which was still far below the peak of 10.3% seen in April at the onset of the statewide shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Beyond the Nacogdoches city limits, the county saw its workforce shrink by 63 people, falling from 27,399 to 27,336. The unemployment rate from September to October dipped 7.3% to an even 6% as some 1,652 people were without jobs in October compared to 2,000 in September.
The county’s unemployment rate peaked in April at 10.4%, according to the commission.
The Deep East Texas Workforce Development Area — which spans 12 counties — saw unemployment drop by 1.5% from September to October, falling from 9% to 7.5%, even as the region lost about 400 workers. Of the 150,905 workers in the region, some 11,308 didn’t have jobs, according to the commission.
Unemployment in the workforce-development area peaked in April at 11.8%.
Compared to October 2019, the region has lost 2,782 workers and seen the number of unemployed people rise by 4,851 — about 3.3%, records show. That rate is slightly better than the statewide 3.4% difference reported between October 2019 and October 2020. It’s the same rate as the U.S. unemployment number when comparing the months a year apart.
Statewide, 6.9% of Texans didn’t have work in October, which was down from 8.3% in September, according to the commission. That matched the national unemployment rate.
“The Amarillo Metropolitan Statistical Area recorded October’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a not seasonally adjusted rate of 4.4%, followed by the College Station-Bryan MSA with the second lowest rate of 4.6%,” according to the commission’s statement on the October numbers. “The Abilene MSAs recorded the third lowest rate of 4.9%.”
The Odessa area saw the highest unemployment rate at 11.4%. The Beaumont-Port Arthur had the second-highest rate at 10%, with the Brownsville-Harlingen area showing the third highest unemployment rate at 9.5%.