AUSTIN, Texas — A new report from The Texas Tribune shows that job growth in the state of Texas in recent months has outpaced the rest of the country, and there are now more jobs in Texas than before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Citing data from the Texas Workforce Commission, the report states that Texas ended 2021 with about 13.06 million non-agricultural jobs. That's about 89,600 more jobs than in February 2020, just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
The report states that unemployment levels are also on the decline, falling to 5% in December. Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas suggests Texas' unemployment rate was at 3.7% in February 2020. It reached a record high of 12.9% when the governor announced shutdowns in April 2020 to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Other states that are also seeing a resilient workforce include Arizona, Idaho and Utah, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report also states that payroll employment excluding farm work increased in 16 other states.
According to Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, the nine-county area in Central Texas ended 2021 with 34,474 jobs created throughout the region since December 2020, marking an annual growth rate of 6.3%. And the unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 3% percent in December, down from 3.3% in November.
This region's unemployment rate remained well below both the Texas and national rates, 4.3% and 3.7% respectively, which also both saw drops in December.
“We’re excited to see our talented regional workforce continue to fuel the economic recovery of our communities,” said WSRCA CEO Paul Fletcher. “But many of our neighbors still face barriers to their re-entry into the workforce. Our Board, and our community partners are committed to finding new ways to ensure local employers will have a highly skilled and educated workforce and our residents will have the competencies, skills and education to become self-sufficient and live a quality life.”
To read the Tribune's full report, click here.
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