Valley jobless rate improves but still in double-digits

HARLINGEN — The jobless tide in Texas began to turn in May, with 291,000 private sector positions added to help cut the state unemployment rate to 12.7 percent.

The April number was 13.1 percent.

In the Rio Grande Valley, the jobless rate in the Brownsville-Harlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area fell to 16.0 percent from 16.9 percent in April, which is still more than three times the rate of May 2019 which was 4.9 percent.

In the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA, the May rate was 17.7 percent, down from 18.1 percent the previous month. A year ago, it was 5.4 percent.

“The Texas Workforce Commission remains determined to help all Texans return to employment or find new careers through innovative skill enhancement programs that will benefit all our communities,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “The Texas economy is reopening and TWC will continue to connect job seekers with employers through upskilling and personalized services.”

In May, the Leisure and Hospitality Industry added 176,400 jobs. Education and Health Services added 51,900 positions and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 20,700 positions over the month.

“Our workforce is made up of millions of skilled Texans ready to get to work,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “If you have not already, register at WorkinTexas.com, reach out to your local board and explore the training opportunities available in your area.”

The Amarillo MSA recorded the state’s lowest rate with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 8.5 percent, followed by the College Station-Bryan MSA at 8.6 percent. The Abilene MSA recorded the third-lowest rate of 8.9 percent.

May jobless rates

Metro Area May 2020 April 2020 May 2019

Brn.-Harlingen 16.0 16.9 4.9

McAllen-Edin. 17.7 18.1 5.4

Corpus Christi 14.7 15.7 3.8

San Ant.-N. Braun. 12.7 13.3 2.8

Texas 12.7 13.1 3.1

U.S. 13.0 14.4 3.4