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Monthly Update: Unemployment

December '22, Latest Data
Published on 1/23/23

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Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute 

Metro Houston’s unemployment rate slipped to 3.9 percent in December, down from 4.0 percent in November and 4.8 percent in December ’21, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The rate has declined steadily since peaking at 13.3 percent in April ’20. 

Houston’s rate is marginally above that of Texas (3.6 percent) and the nation’s (3.3 percent). The rates are not seasonally adjusted. Any rate below 5.0 percent indicates an exceptionally tight labor market.

Among cities in the Houston metro area for which TWC publishes rates, Pearland had the lowest level of unemployment, Baytown the highest.

Though the media has reported significant layoffs in the U.S. tech sector, those actions have yet to impact Houston. Initial claims filed for unemployment benefits in the metro area have held constant since the late fall and remain well below pandemic levels. 

Continued claims filed by workers who have been unemployed for at least a week after filing the initial claim have remained near historically low levels. This suggests that workers who did lose their jobs in recent weeks are experiencing minimal difficulties finding new ones.

Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Chief Economist 
Senior Vice President, Research
pjankowski@houston.org

Clara Richardson
Research Associate
crichardson@houston.org

Employment Key Economic Indicators
3.9

Metro Houston’s unemployment rate slipped to 3.9 percent in December '22

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