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Texas' July unemployment rate drops slightly to 8%

3 months 6 days 12 hours ago Friday, August 21 2020 Aug 21, 2020 August 21, 2020 8:34 AM August 21, 2020 in News - Local
Source: https://www.texastribune.org/
By: by Mitchell Ferman, The Texas Tribune
A Rooms To Go in Frisco, open to customers. (Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune)

That is up from a near-record low of 3.5% of jobless Texans in July 2019, and down from June, when 8.4% of Texans were unemployed.

The Texas economy has steered into a recession during the coronavirus pandemic and recorded historic jobless rates, such as April's record-worst 13.5% unemployment rate, a devastating financial toll for the state. More than 3.2 million Texans have filed for jobless relief since mid-March.

All summer, economists said the Texas economy would not bounce back until the coronavirus faded.

“We did have a significant surge in cases,” Keith Phillips, senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said of the summer months. “The good news is, these cases are coming down. But they’re still way higher than April and May. This creates a great challenge to bring back parts of the economy.”

Still, more than 10,000 Texans are dead from COVID-19 and more than 5,600 Texans are hospitalized with the virus. For the economy to truly improve, Aimee Chin, an economist with the University of Houston, said the state needs to get a handle on the coronavirus.

“If the public health situation is not improving and as we move forward without the extra $600 from the federal government,” Chin said, “I'm really fearful things are going to get worse in terms of food insecurity, homelessness and evictions.”

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/08/21/texas-unemployment-rate/.

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