Valley’s August jobless rate drops but still among state’s highest

HARLINGEN — The unemployment rate in the Rio Grande Valley for August dropped sharply, although the numbers remain far higher than the pre-coronavirus statistics of a year ago.

In the Brownsville-Harlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area, the jobless rate for August was 9.3 percent, an improvement over the July rate of 11.1 percent. One year ago, the rate for the MSA was 5.7 percent.

In the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA, which generally runs a point or two higher than the MSA to the east, the August rate was 10.9 percent, the second-highest in the state.

Still, it is down significantly from the July rate of 12.6 percent. A year ago, the July jobless rate in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA was 6.6 percent.

Statewide, the Texas jobless rate dropped to 6.8 percent, the fourth straight month to show a decline and the lowest rate since March 2020.

The national jobless rate is 8.5 percent.

“The Texas unemployment rate continues to move in a positive direction as job seekers and employers adjust to current challenges,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “TWC will continue our efforts to implement strategies designed to help strengthen the Texas economy.”

In August, the Professional and Business Services sector added 33,200 jobs, Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 28,800 jobs and Government added 25,000 jobs.

“As our labor force continues to grow, it becomes extremely important to build skills that will not only help Texans find jobs but build careers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez.

The Amarillo Metropolitan MSA recorded August’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas metro areas with a rate of 4.2 percent, followed by the College Station-Bryan MSA at 4.7 percent. The Abilene MSA recorded the third-lowest rate of 4.9 percent.

The state’s highest jobless rate in August was Odessa at 11.1 percent. Beaumont-Port Arthur came in just behind McAllen-Edinburg-Mission for third place at 10.3 percent.

August jobless rates

Metro Area                  August 2020               July 2020                     August 2019

Brn.-Harlingen              9.3                             11.1                             5.7

McAllen-Edin.            10.9                             12.6                             6.6

Corpus Christi               8.4                             10.1                            4.5

San Ant.-N. Braun.       6.6                               8.0                             3.3

Texas                             6.8                               8.3                             3.7

U.S.                               8.5                             10.5                             3.8

rkelley@valleystar.com