Economic Indicators of the College Station-Bryan MSA, May 2020

Authors: PERC Date: May 2020

Data on initial unemployment claims indicate almost 2 million workers in Texas have filed claims over the last 8 weeks. Nationally, 36.5 million new unemployment claims have been filed over the same time period. The price of oil has fallen in the past month by well over 50%, and approved drilling permits in Texas fell by 40% from March to April 2020. Highway traffic in Texas steadily decreased during March through the first half of April relative to the last week of February, but has been rising. Air travel out of Easterwood Airport was down 96% in April 2020 compared to March 2019, similar to the national decline in air travel. The unemployment rate increased to 3.8% in College Station-Bryan for the month of March, the first unemployment data point capturing the effects of the shelter-in-place orders. The national unemployment rate in April was 14.7%, up from 4.4% in March. The Business Cycle-Index exhibited a sharp decrease of 2.2% for the month of March.

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Keywords: Covid-19, coronavirus, local economy, College Station-Bryan, oil, travel, unemployment