Dennis Jansen Speaks to KBTX on Local Unemployment Trends

Jul 06, 2020
Summary: Director Dennis Jansen spoke to KBTX on Thursday, June 2, 2020 on the increase in local employment and how College Station-Bryan’s unemployment rate faired when compared to other Texas Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or MSAs, in May.
The latest data shows that although local employment rose by 3,513 jobs, the unemployment rate stood at 8.9% in May.
College Station-Bryan’s unemployment rate, although high from a historical standpoint, is tied with Amarillo for the lowest rate among all of the Texas MSAs.
“We typically have one of the lowest unemployment rates in Texas, and I think this is due, in part, to the composition of the local labor force and the importance of students to the local economy, and I mean students as workers. So, when the economy expands, students move into the labor force, and sometimes that means moving into town,” said Jansen. “When the economy contracts, as it has done recently, students move home, move out of town, and they are not counted as unemployed in the Bryan-College Station area.”
As we now see a downward trend in both national and local unemployment rates, speculation abounds as to how long it will take for a full recovery.
“In terms of, “When will this end?” You know, we don’t have a lot of historical experience with the government shutting down large parts of the economy. I do say that turning the economy off and then on again like a light switch – that’s not what’s going to happen. People that thought that was what was going to happen are rather disappointed in the results. Unemployment rates typically rise slowly during a recession, and they fall, perhaps even more slowly, after the recession ends- and that’s the typical recession. This time, unemployment rates took off like a rocket, but that’s because the government had to shut down businesses because of the virus. And to get more to the point, the Federal Reserve recently released projections that the unemployment rate at the end of this year would be 9.3% and at the end of 2021 would be 6.5% and by the end of 2022, would be 5.5%. So, they are predicting a typical slow decline in the unemployment rate, a typical slow decline after a recession.”
See the full interview on
Read June’s Economic Indicators here.