Texas unemployment rate headed toward double digits, comptroller warns

by The Texas TribuneMarch 24, 2020
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TIM MOSSHOLDER | UNSPLASH

By Mitchell Ferman | The Texas Tribune

The unemployment rate in Texas is around 9%—up from the state’s recent record-low rate of 3.5% in January—as the new coronavirus spreads, Comptroller Glenn Hegar said Thursday.

Hegar said projections as recently as mid-March had unemployment rates rising to 6%.

"By the end of the week, no, this thing is worse than that," Hegar said, speaking on air to the Texas Standard. "It's up to probably 9%. And I have no doubt that people are going to start forecasting it's going to be slightly in the low double digits."

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Unemployment insurance claims filed with the Texas Workforce Commission reached 16,038 from March 8 through March 14, the agency said in its latest release, compared with 11,556 claims filed during the same week in 2019.

The record-high unemployment rate for a single month in Texas was 9.2% in November 1986, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This article is republished with permission from The Texas Tribune.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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