Franklin and Hopkins Counties continued to have the lowest unemployment rates in the Northeast Texas Workforce Development Area. In fact, unemployment in Hopkins County declined in April 2022 to the pre-COVID low of 2.8%, down from a seasonally adjusted rate of 3% in March 2022 and a 3.1% rate unadjusted for seasonal employment, according to the data published May 20, 2022 on Texas Labor Market Information website, for Texas Workforce Commission Labor Market and Career division.
Since 2000, the unemployment rate in Hopkins County has fallen below 3% in only six months and only below 2.8% twice, both in 2019, just before COVID shutdowns resulted in unemployment of everyone except “essential workers” for a couple of months in 2020.
The annual average unemployment rate in Hopkins County in 2019 was 3.1%, with the 3.6% of January the highest unemployment rate in 2019 and the record low of 2.7% recorded in April and May 2019. Hopkins County’s unemployment rate was 2.9% in September and November of 2019, and 2.8% in October and December 2019.
Unemployment rates in Hopkins County began rising in January 2020 to 3.1% (the same as in March 2022), then up to 4.3% in March and a pandemic high of 7.8% in April 2020 – which was still less than the 22year-record high of 8.4 percent recorded in June of 2011.
Just one year ago, the unemployment rate in April was 4.8% (4.4% seasonally adjusted). So that’s a 2% decline in the number of people unsuccessful in seeking work over the last 12 months, (April 2021-April 2022) and a dip from 5.6% in February 2021. These reductions in unemployment rate have come even as the civilian labor force has grown over the past 12 months. In April 2021, 783 of the 17,781 labor pool in Hopkins County were unemployed. In March 2022, a total of 556 of the 18,258 labor pool in Hopkins County was unemployed. Last month, the labor pool dipped, down to 18,040, but the number of unemployed also dipped to 513.
Franklin County had an even lower unemployment rate than Hopkins County, dipping from the seasonally adjusted 3% in March 2022, when 156 of the 5,280 member civilian labor force (CLF) was unemployed, to 2.6% in April 2022, with 136 of the CLF of 5,190 unemployed. The April 2022 unemployment rate for Franklin County was 1.9% less than the April 2021 rate, when 242 of the 5,326 CLF were unemployed.
Delta County and Titus County were the only other counties in the Northeast Texas Workforce Development area, which spans west from Texarkana in Bowie County to Hopkins County and north to the Oklahoma-Texas state line, whose unemployment rate was below both the state average of 3.7% and the WDA rate of 3.9%.
Delta County’s unemployment rate for April 2022 was 3.3%, with 82 of the 2,465 CLF unemployed. That’s down slightly from 3.6% unemployment, with 89 of the 2,501 CLF unemployed in March 2022, and 1.3% less than in April 2021, when 114 of the 2,458 member CLF were unemployed.
Titus County’s unemployment rate dipped a tad from 3.7%, with 512 of 13,879 CLF without jobs in March 2022, to 3.6% with 488 of the 13,463 CLF unemployed in April 2022. Both are down from the 5.2% unemployment rate posted in April 2021, when 708 of 13,514 CLF were unemployed.
The Northeast Texas workforce Development Area unemployment average for April 2022 was 3.9%, with 4,873 out of 124,335 unemployed. That’s down from 4.1% in March 2022 and 5.7% in April 2021. Across the state, unemployment dipped from 5.9% in April 2021 to 3.9% in March 2022 and 3.7% last month.
Across the 9-county NETWDA, Red River County was the only county in which unemployment did not decline from March to April of 2022. The unemployment rate in Red River county remained 4.5% over the past 2 months, which were both down from 5.9% in April 2021. The Red River County CLF rose from 5,349 in April 2021 to 5,449 in March 2022, then down to 5,350 in April 2022. The number of people unemployed, however, has continued to decline over the past 12 months, from 316 in April 2021 to 243 in March 2022 and 241 in April 2022.
Lamar County’s unemployment rate dipped from 5.4% in April 2021, when 1,346 of the 24,817 CLF were unemployed, to 3.8% in April 2022, when 915 of the 23,931 CLF were unemployed. Last month’s unemployment rate is also 0.2% lower than in March 2022, when 990 of the 24,724 CLF were still unemployed.
Bowie County’s unemployment rate dipped slightly from 4.3%, with 1,714 of 39,587 CLF unemployed in March 2022, to 4.2% in April 2022 when 1,649 of the 39,24 C:F were employed; both were down from the 5.9% unemployment rate posted one year ago, when 2,299 of the 39,038 CLF were unemployed.
Cass County’s unemployment rate dipped from 6.9% with 858 of 12,494 CLF unemployed in April 2021 to 4.6% in March 2022, when 576 of the 12,489 CLF were unemployed. Last month, the unemployment rate in Cass County dipped to 4.4% with 543 of the 12,257 work force unemployed.
Lamar County’s unemployment rate dropped from 5.4% in April 2021, when 1,346 of hte 24,817 CLF were unemployed, to 4% in March 2022 when 990 of 24,724 CLF were unemployed. Last month, the unemployment rate in Lamar County was 3.8%, with 915 of 23,931 still unemployed.
Rounding out the NETWDA with the highest unemployment rate of 7% in April 2022 was Morris County; at that time 306 of 4,390 CLF were unemployed. That’s down from 7.4% in March 2022, when 337 of 4,546 CLF were unemployed. The April 2022 unemployment rate in Morris County was 3.8% less than in April 2021, when 494 of the 4,580 CLF were unemployed.