PERC Staff Speak on Local Unemployment on KBTX

Mar 24, 2020
Summary: Director Dennis Jansen, along with Executive Associate Director Andrew Rettenmaier, were interviewed on KBTX news on Monday, March 23, 2020 on local unemployment in the Hospitality and Leisure industries due to the coronavirus.
The number of unemployment claims rose to over 281,000 last week. “The thing about [the spike in unemployment claims] is you note that it is an abrupt increase, and that abrupt increase is so different than what we saw in the previous recession. So, we are really having a front-loaded, if you will, increase in unemployment, which makes this quite unique” said Rettenmaier.
As the number of claims rise dramatically, the estimated unemployment rate would rise to 6.1% if a quarter and 9.6% if half of employees in that industry group are no longer employed. The dramatic rise was attributed to two factors, according to Jansen.
“We started at a very low unemployment rate; 2.7% is a historically low rate for our area. Second of all, we have a large percentage of hospitality and leisure workers…we have Texas A&M to thank for that. We have events, Ring Day, Family Weekend… graduation - all of those events are not occurring and those hotel rooms are empty” said Jansen.
To see the full video on KBTX, click here.