Texas recoups 237,800 jobs in May gain following historic coronavirus-driven losses
The Texas economy recovered 237,800 jobs in a net gain last month, according to data from the Texas Workforce Commission, as the seeds of a fragile economic recovery begin to take shape.
Texas’ unemployment rate in May was 13 percent. The state unemployment rate was revised up for April to 13.5 percent from the originally reported 12.8 percent.
As businesses reopen, employees return to work and consumers resume spending after stay-in-place orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus were lifted, the businesses hit hardest by the shutdowns are recouping the most jobs.
The state’s accommodation and food service employers posted a gain of 173,300 jobs last month after a massive loss of 464,900 jobs in April. Retailers too, recouped jobs, with Texas retail employers adding 27,100 jobs in May after a net loss of 125,200 jobs in April.
In Houston, the local economy posted a net gain of 63,900 jobs in May, after a devastating loss of 365,200 jobs in March and April. The local unemployment rate is 13.9 percent.
“The Texas economy is reopening,” said Bryan Daniel, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman. “TWC will continue to connect job seekers with employers.”
Still, there is a long way to go on the path to what economists say will likely be a bumpy recovery from the steepest drop in business activity in history. The nation shed 22 million jobs between February and April, a scale of losses not seen since the Great Depression.
In Texas, employers slashed 1.3 million jobs in April alone, and the Texas Workforce Commission, which oversees the unemployment benefits program, says that it has received 3 million unemployment insurance applications since the coronavirus shutdowns began in late March.