Valley jobless rate numbers rose in July

HARLINGEN — The Texas jobless rate remained stable in July while Rio Grande Valley cities saw upticks in the number of workers without jobs.

The Brownsville-Harlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area saw its jobless rate increase to 5.8 percent from 5.6 percent in June. The rate still is substantially under the 7.0 number from July 2018.

In the McAllen-Mission-Edinburg MSA, the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent from 6.3 percent in June. Last July the McAllen MSA had a jobless rate of 7.0 percent.

Statewide, the economy added 35,200 seasonally-adjusted total nonfarm positions. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.4 percent, which matches the all-time record low set in June. This record is currently the lowest the unemployment rate has been since series tracking began in 1976.

Texas employers added 323,300 jobs over the year. Total nonfarm annual employment growth was at 2.6 percent in July and has held above 2.0 percent since February 2018.

“I am incredibly proud of our robust and ever-growing workforce,” said Julian Alvarez, Texas Workforce Commission commissioner representing labor. “Texas cannot have a record low unemployment rate without talented and skilled workers eager and ready to fill open positions.”

Leading job growth in July was the leisure and hospitality industry which added 8,300 jobs in July, followed by the construction industry with new 6,300 jobs and education and health services, which added 6,100 jobs.

“The fact that Texas private-sector employers added 316,600 jobs this year speaks for itself,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Bryan Daniel.

The Midland MSA recorded July’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.2 percent, followed by the Amarillo and Odessa MSAs, both of which recorded 2.8 percent.

Texas jobless rates

July 2019 June 2019 July 2018

Brownsville-Harlingen 5.8 percent 5.6 percent 6.6 percent

McAllen-Edin-Mission 6.7 percent 6.3 percent 7.0 percent

San Antonio-New Brn 3.3 percent 3.2 percent 3.5 percent

Corpus Christi 4.5 percent 4.4 percent 5.2 percent

Source: Non-seasonally adjusted rates from Texas Workforce Commission