Texas unemployment rate headed toward double digits, comptroller warns

Pueblo Viejo in Austin closed its dining operations following an executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott which limits social gatherings to 10 people. March 20, 2020. Photo credit: Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

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

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.”

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 to 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.

“Texas unemployment rate headed toward double digits, comptroller warns” was first published at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/03/24/texas-unemployment-rate-has-more-doubled-9-comptroller-says/ by The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune is proud to celebrate 10 years of exceptional journalism for an exceptional state.

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