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The unemployment rates for metro Houston and Texas rose in July while the U.S. rate held steady, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Houston’s unemployment rate increased from 4.5 percent in June to 4.8 percent, Texas’ rate from 4.2 percent to 4.5 percent, and the U.S. rate remained at 3.8 percent. The increase reflects an historic pattern, with unemployment peaking in June-July as students seeking summer work and educators between contracts are counted among the jobless. The rates should drift downward in the fall as both return to campus.
There were 174,434 Houstonians unemployed and looking for work in July, up from 152,353 in July of last year. TWC estimates Houston’s workforce at 3,626,626, up from 3,510,757 a year ago.
Among cities in the metro area for which TWC publishes unemployment rates, League City had the lowest and Baytown the highest in July.
Initial claims filed for unemployment ticked up in the spring but have trended downward since in mid-June.
Continued claims filed by workers unemployed for a week or more continue to trend up, suggesting workers who lose their jobs are experiencing some difficulty in finding new employment. The 32,781 claims filed in July cover 0.9 percent of the region’s total workforce.
Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Metro Houston’s unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in July '23
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