Dennis Jansen Shares Data from Economic Indicators on KBTX

Dec 21, 2020
Summary: Director Dennis Jansen spoke to KBTX on local economic data from the December issue of Economic Indicators on Monday, December 21, 2020.
The report shows that the Business-Cycle index increased 1.6% from September to October. The Business-Cycle Index is determined by the unemployment rate, nonfarm employment, inflation adjusted taxable sales, and quarterly aggregate wages.
“It is true – we’ve had modest growth from September to October,” said Jansen. “Locally, our recovery from the recession in March and April – especially April – is continuing. So the recovery continues, but rather slowly, and we even had a hiccup in the unemployment rate in September when it rose before declining again in October, and that already indicates some concern. The number employed in October did increase a very tiny amount from September and we had an increase in taxable retail sales. So that, and a decline in unemployment, led our Business-Cycle Index to increase.”
The October unemployment rate for the College Station-Bryan MSA remained the second-lowest among Texas metro areas at 4.9%. However, the statewide rate, although declining, remained higher than the nationwide unemployment rate.
When asked if Texas’ lag behind the national average was concerning, Jansen replied “Yes, it is a concern. Actually, the November unemployment rate for states is now available and it was not available at the time Economic Indicators was written. And Texas’ unemployment rate actually increased quite a bit from 6.9% that we report in Economic Indicators for [October] to 8.1% [for November]. Meanwhile, the United States’ rate – we already knew – was 6.7%. So Texas’ unemployment rate has grown even more and I think you can partially blame this on the industry mix. Texas has unemployment from the pandemic from Entertainment and Travel industries being hard-hit, but we also have an impact from the mining industry, and especially what we mean here is natural gas and oil production – drilling, refining, and so on – that plays a big role in Texas and that industry is still quite a bit impacted by the decline in prices.”
The report also shows a decline in the number of filed unemployment claims, an increase in local air travel, and inflation adjusted hotel receipts per room for Brazos County.
See the full interview at KBTX news.
Click here to read the December issue of Economic Indicators.