Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy of individual states as well as the federal government has been hard to regulate. Unemployment levels have predominantly been on the rise in most areas, with most confidently feeling that this shows the decline of economies. With that said, Texas post-pandemic has had a very interesting journey through its economy and its unemployment rates. Texas has had a rise in their unemployment levels, ranking fifth worst in the entire United States, but analysts actually interpret this as a sign of a flourishing economy.
How can a state have one of the worst unemployment rates but have a growing economy?
This is a good question, and the answer is both simple and a bit complicated. To start, it is important to note that Texas has been one of the leading states in terms of job growth. In the last year, they added over 400,000 new jobs to the state job market. Now, it is also important to hear what the unemployment rate is currently. For the last four consecutive months, it has held strong at 4.1%. Comparatively, the national average is 3.8%. This is significantly worse than the rate was pre-pandemic.
Now, how can this level contribute to an economy on the rise?
The higher unemployment levels, amidst the increase in jobs on the market, signify that people are not emigrating from Texas at the same rates as they are in many other states. It shows that there is an increase in the workforce because of this since Texas is maintaining its population. The number of people leaving their home states and going to less expensive ones is incredibly common and at an all-time high at the moment. Texas actually has the lowest rate of people leaving the state compared to the rest of the country.
To put it simply, since the population is remaining in the positive, the amount of people in the workforce is in the positive, meaning more people are contributing to the economy, so the higher unemployment rate is simply a sign of the positive population counts. This differs greatly from the experience happening in other states at the moment. Some states are having unemployment rates go down, but that is a side effect of people leaving the workforce of the state and oftentimes leaving the state entirely.
While Texas’ numbers are still not what they were pre-pandemic, they are looking good for the state, so many remain hopeful for a steady economic path for the state.