The August unemployment rate in College Station-Bryan dropped to 4.3% from a revised 5.3% in July. The local area unemployment rate continues to improve here, and throughout Texas. The local rate was second only to Amarillo’s 4.1% rate among the 25 Texas Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Tied for the third-lowest rate were Sherman-Denison and Abilene at 4.9%. Lubbock was the fifth lowest at 5%. At the other end of the rankings, Odessa had the highest August unemployment rate at 10.7%. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission was the second highest at 10.4%, and Beaumont-Port Arthur was third highest at 10.2%. Brownsville-Harlingen and Corpus Christi had the fourth and fifth-highest rates at 9% and 8.1%, respectively. Among the four largest metro areas, Austin-Round Rock again had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.3%, while Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland again was highest at 8%. The MSAs in south Texas, and those relying heavily on the oil and gas sector, continue to be the hardest hit.
These August unemployment rates for MSAs around the state have continued to fall and show continued improvement in the economy. The recovery is ongoing, and proceeding rather rapidly. At the same time, these unemployment rates are still markedly higher than they were pre-Covid-19, and we have a long way to go before we return to ‘the good old days.’
The figure below shows the employment growth rates between July and August. Austin-Round Rock had the highest employment growth rate at 6.6% and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission had the lowest rate at 4.3%. Wichita Falls, Brownsville-Harlingen, and College Station-Bryan all recorded growth rates of 6% or more.
These labor market metrics continue to show movement in the right direction as the state makes strides forward.