Texas Tech University

As economic data lags, Texas reports 4.7% jobless rate for March

The Texas Tribune

April 17, 2020

The Texas Tribune - Far more Texans are out of work than the state’s latest 4.7% unemployment rate indicates because the government data released Friday predates the widespread business closures and layoffs that escalated as the coronavirus crisis worsened. Analysts said the actual rate of jobless Texans is likely greater than 10%, which could be a record high for the state.

Timothy Fitzgerald, an economics professor at Texas Tech University, wasn't sure if businesses immediately reopening would even make much of a difference. "I just don't know if people will show up — whether they have kids or they're just scared," said Fitzgerald, who worked in the White House on the Council of Economic Advisers during the Trump administration. "Texas has a lot of people who are at risk, and we don't know how infected people have become yet, and that uncertainty terrifies people. " 

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