Unemployment Rates Continue Dropping, Almost To Pre-Pandemic Levels In Hopkins County
Unemployment continues to drop across the Northeast Texas Workforce Development Area to the lowest rates since the pandemic began. Franklin County had the lowest December unemployment rate in the WDA, marking the 7th consecutive month Franklin County has had the best unemployment rate. Hopkins County was a close second, with unemployment dropping to an almost pre-pandemic level in December.
Unemployment dipped slightly across the state from 4.5% n November 2021 to 4.3% last month, both down from 6.7% in December of 2020. In Texas, the civilian labor force declined from 14,429,974 in November to 14, 398,693 in December 2021, up from 14,139,874 in December 2020. As more jobs were added, the number of employed rose as well from 13,191,324 in December 2020 to 13,775,211 in November 2021 and up to 13,785,955.
|Northeast Texas WDA||122,787||117,134||5,653||4.6|
According to TWC, the seasonally adjusted Texas unemployment rate was 5.0 percent in December 2021, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from November 2021. Texas added 50,000 total nonagricultural jobs over the month, making gains in 19 of the last 20 months. For the month, the state reached another record employment level with 13,059,600 jobs. Texas has added a total of 694,400 positions since December 2020.
“Seeing a second consecutive month of record-setting employment, with more than 13 million jobs, highlights the underlying strength of the Texas economy,” TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel said Friday in a release about state unemployment totals. “This economic strength creates an environment for Texas employers to continue to create jobs and provide opportunities for the workforce in the Lone Star State.”
“The continued job growth we’ve seen in our Texas labor market is a true testament to the strength of our Texas employers, large and small,” TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson in the Jan. 21, 2022 release. “In addition, the falling unemployment rate demonstrates Texans taking advantage of the numerous job and career opportunities provided by our Texas employers.”
According to TWC, the biggest job gains were in three areas: 10,400 additional construction jobs; 7,300 more trade, transportation and utilities positions; and 7,200 financial activities jobs in December 2021.
Only three of the nine counties in the Northeast Texas Workforce Development area posted December 2021 unemployment rates that were below not only the NET WDA rate of 4.6% but Texas’ 4.3% unadjusted unemployment rate as well – Franklin, Hopkins and Delta Counties. The three counties in NETWDA with the worst December 2021 unemployment rates were Morris, Cass and Red River. but even those counties saw a downturn in joblessness last month, according to the TLMI data.
Hopkins County came in a close second to Franklin County in December 2021 for best unemployment rate in the NET WDA for the 7th consecutive month. Hopkins County’s unemployment rate last month was 3.4%, just 0.1 percent higher than Franklin County’s jobless rate, one of only 2 counties in the area with an unemployment rate of less than 4 percent.
That’s the lowest unemployment rate in Hopkins County in since COVID swept the world and forced job and school closures at spring break 2020, the lowest unemployment rate in Hopkins County in the last 2 years was 3.1% in January and February of 2020. Even the highest unemployment rates for Hopkins County during the COVID shutdowns were 7.8% in April 2020, 6.9% in May 2020, 6.5% in June 2020 and 6% in July 2020.
Overall, the unemployment average for Hopkins County was 4.6% in 2021 and 5.1% in 2020. While not as good as the 3.1% unemployment average for 2019 (when unemployment averages for 6 months of the year were below 3%) , the 2021 unemployment average was not nearly as high as the 7.6% reported in 2011 and 7.5 percent in 2020. Unemployment in Hopkins County reached a 22-year monthly high of 8.4% in June and low was only 6.6% in December 2011, for an overall annual unemployment average of 7.6 percent.
Hopkins County’s labor force continued to shrink as well, dipping from 17,744 in December 2020 to 17,474 in November 2021 and 17,347 CLF in December 2021. While the number of people employed in Hopkins County also dipped – from 16,885 in December 2020 to 16,822 in November 2021 and 16,754 in December 2021, the number of unemployed also shrunk from 859 in December 2020, to 652 two months ago and 592 last month.
Northeast Texas WDA
As a whole, the CFL in Northeast Texas WDA has continued to shrink over the past year, from 124,062 in December 2020 to 123,230 in November 2021 and 122,787 last month. Although the number of employed dipped from 117,161 in November 2021 to 117,134 in December 2021, both months still had more employed than the 116,074 reported in December 2020. These have helped lower the overall unemployment rate in NETWDA from 6.4% in December 2020 to 4.9% in November and 4.6% in December.
In Franklin County, the civilian labor force shrunk from 5,268 in November 2021 to 5,226 in December 2021, reducing the number of employed from 5,268 in November to 5,051 in December and the number of unemployed from 186 to 175 in December. That gives Franklin County an unemployment rate of 3.3% for December 2021, which is 2.2% lower than in December 2020, when 269 of the 4,901 civilian labor force were unemployed, according to the information released Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 on Texas Labor Market Information website for Texas Workforce Commission.
Delta County had the third lowest unemployment rate of 4% for December 2021, down from 4.9 percent from December 2020 and 4.4 percent in November 2021. Delta County’s CLF also has been shrinking, from 2,438 in in December 2020 to 2,393 in November 2021 and 2,376 last month. The number of employed declined from 2,318 in December 2020 to 2,288 in November 2021 and 2,281 last month.
Titus County’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.6% in November 2021 to 4.4 percent last month, both down from 6.3 percent one year before. The labor pool in Titus County too has continued to decline, dropping from 13,171 in November 2021 to 13,132 on month later; the CFL in December 2020 was 13,491. While there were fewer working in Titus County in December 2021 than even one month before, the number of unemployed also dropped from 484 in December 2020 to 605 in November 2021 and 573 in December 2021.
Lamar County’s CFL was 23,837 in December 2021, down from 23,895 in December 2020 and 24,045 in November 2021. Lamar County had more people working in November 2021 than in December, 22,876 to 22,754, but still more than the 22,430 reported in December 2020. There were fewer unemployed each time however, dropping the jobless rate in Lamar County from 6.1% in December 2020 to 4.9 percent in November 2021 and 4.5% in December 2021.
Bowie County’s unemployment rate dipped from 6.3% in December 2020 to 5.1% in November 2021, then 4.7% last month. Bowie’s CFL has continued to rise over the last year, up from 39,163 in December 2020 to 39,392 in November and 39,486 in December 2021. The number employed in Bowie County also rose, from 36,711 in December 2020 to 37,399 in November 2021 and 37,611 last month. That dropped Bowie County’s unemployment rate from 6.3% one year ago to 4.7% last month, down from 5.1 the previous month.
Cass and Red River counties each had 5.3% unemployment rate for December 2021. Cass County’s CFL had declined from 12,427 in December 2021 to 11,942 in November 2021, and 11,885 last month. However, one more person was employed in December than in November of 2021. These factors have helped Cass County’s jobless rate drop from 8.1% in December 2020 to5.8 percent in November 2021 and 5.3 percent in December 2021. Red River County’s CFL rose from 5,123 in November 2021 to 5,138 in December 2021, which was still smaller than one year before when the CFL was 5,261. The number of people employed in Red River County isn’t quite as large as the 4,929 of December 2020, but did rise from 4,844 in November 2021 to 4,868 last month. That helped lower the unemployment rate from 6.3 percent in December 2020 to 5.4 percent in November 2021 and 5.3 percent last month in Red River County.
Morris County had the highest unemployment rate in the 9-county area, but has been steadily improving. The unemployment rate was 13.3 percent in December of 2020, 8.9 percent in November and 8.3 percent last month. The CFL dropped sharply over the last year, from 4,742 in December 2020 to 4,422 in November and 4,360 last month. The number of people working in Morris County fell from 4,109 a little over a year ago to 4,029 in November and 4,000 in December 2021. The number of unemployed dropped from 633 in December 2020 to 393 in November and 360 in December 2021.
Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit TexasLMI.com.