50,000 El Paso area unemployment claims made since beginning of pandemic

El Paso News

The Texas Workforce Commission’s headquarters building was closed on April 2, 2020 as tens of thousands of Texans were trying to get through online and on the phone to file unemployment applications. (KXAN Photo/Jody Barr)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Data released by the Borderplex Workforce Solutions show an additional 4,958 people filed for unemployment in the region last week, for a total of 35,486 claims in the month of April.

The last week of April saw the fewest amount of new unemployment claims since mid-March, but the numbers are still troubling for the El Paso region. While the unemployment rate was 5 percent at the end of March, a recent analysis by El Paso Matters indicates the unemployment rate in El Paso is likely to approach or surpass 20 percent when the final analysis is complete for April.

El Paso’s highest unemployment rate in the last 30 years was 13.4 percent in January 1991, according to data provided by the St. Louis Fed. The unemployment rate was just 3.8 percent in February.

Of the 38,104 total claimants in the period since March 29, 642 are from rural areas in the West Texas region, including Presidio, Marfa, Vinton, and Van Horn.

Total unemployment claimants

  • March 1 – March 7: 322
  • March 8- March 14: 284
  • March 15 – March 21: 3,440
  • March 22 – March 28: 9,546
  • March 29 – April 4: 9,526
  • April 5 – April 11: 7,893
  • April 12 – April 18: 8,482
  • April 19 – April 25: 7,244
  • April 26 – April 30: 4,958

Each Monday, data is released using information from the Texas Workforce Commission’s unemployment claims. The results paint a bleak picture for the El Paso region, with a total of approximately 46,131 unemployment claimants since March 15 and 35,486 claimants since the beginning of April.

By comparison, January and February of 2020 averaged 1,500 claimants

Workforce Solutions Borderplex says the Labor Market Review will be published mid-May, which will provide an expanded view of the pandemic impact, annual comparisons, and full April comprehensive data, including industries most affected.

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