WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS
Job Brief

May 2020 ι VOLUME 11 ι ISSUE 4
Southeast Texas Labor Market Information Overview - April 2020
The rate of job loss due to the COVID19 health crisis generated unpresented unemployment rates for the entire US economy. In April 2020, Southeast Texas rate reached historic highs at 18.2 percent for the workforce development area (WDA). As many as 28,679 individuals in Jefferson, Hardin and Orange counties, loss employment during April with almost every industry being negatively affected by business closures, layoffs and furloughs due to the pandemic. Additionally, Southeast Texas manufacturing sectors were doubly affected by the downturn in the cost of oil which plummeted to previously unseen lows in March and April. One industry sector, General Merchandise Stores held steady at 4,000 jobs, from April to May, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

*Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, and Newton counties.
Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) UI RATE
AreaArea Type APRIL 2020March 2020April 2019
Beaumont-Port ArthurMSA* 18.18.24.6
Southeast TexasWDA 18.28.14.5


The state of Texas, which had experienced decades of low unemployment and strong economic growth, lost over 1.2 million nonfarm jobs in April due to the pandemic. The state's unemployment rate rose to 12.8 percent, below the national average of 14.7 percent, according to the TWC press release. It is important to note that statewide, General Merchandise Stores and Grocery Stores, including warehouse clubs and supercenters, added over 16,000 jobs. "All over Southeast Texas, grocers, supercenters, and some restaurant chains, are hiring", stated Marilyn Smith, executive director, Workforce Solutions. "Local essential employers are hiring Deliver Drivers, Cashiers, Sales and Customer Service Representatives, and Stock/Warehouse personnel, in addition to Healthcare Providers and professional medical workers."

In a recent press event, Governor Greg Abbott referenced the number of jobs available through WorkInTexas.com, the state's job bank, and encouraged unemployed Texans to contact Workforce Solutions offices for assistance with applying for new opportunities.

In Southeast Texas, our Workforce Centers are providing support virtually, to job seekers and employers. The board's website, www.setworks.org, is available 24/7, with job and career tools and resources, for individuals, youth, and businesses.

Detailed labor market information and reports, including wages per industry sector for Southeast Texas, are available at https://setworks.org/labor-market-information/ .

April Unemployment Figures*

Go to the Labor Market and Career Information (LMCI), site and get access to reliable and informative data regarding careers, educational training options and jobs.

Area
Texas
Beaumont-Port Arthur
Southeast Texas

Hardin County
Jefferson County
Orange County
Newton County

Beaumont
Port Arthur
Apr 2020
13.1%
18.1%
18.2%

15.8%
18.9%
17.6%
16.5%

17.4%
23.4%
Mar 2020
5.1%
8.2%
8.1%

6.7%
8.6%
7.6%
9.7%

7.2%
12.6%
Apr 2019
3.0%
4.6%
4.6%

3.8%
4.8%
4.3%
5.1%

4.3%
6.9%


*U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A World-Class Competitive Workforce for Southeast Texas.