TWC: Midland at “full employment”

Labor markets in Midland and Odessa showed a significant recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of 2021.

The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday that unemployment in its Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) — which includes Midland and Martin counties — fell to 4.1% in December from 4.4% in November. The rate is well below the 8% posted in December 2020.

Odessa showed similar improvement, falling to 5.9% from 6.3% in November and well below the 11.6% recorded in Odessa in December 2020.


“We are moving in the right direction,” said Willie Taylor, general manager of Workforce Solutions Permian Basin of the commission. “We are definitely making progress.

Speaking to the Reporter-Telegram by phone, Taylor estimated first jobless claims fell to about 979 in the 17 West Texas counties his office serves.

With an unemployment rate of 4.1%, he said Midland was considered to have full employment and he said it appeared to be a job seekers market. Taylor said her office has funds to help those who want to find jobs but need help with childcare. And he urged people looking for a job or looking for a better job to take advantage of training opportunities at local colleges.

With such a tight job market, not just locally, but statewide — even nationally — Taylor predicted he would be competitive “statewide.”

“As we navigate through this virus, the region is doing well,” Taylor concluded.

According to the Workforce Commission, Midland had a civilian workforce of 101,007, down slightly from 101,125 in November, but more than 2,200 up from 98,752 in December 2020. Still, Taylor pointed out that’s below the 108,000 Midland was seeing before the pandemic and he said it will take time to get back to those levels.

The number of employees increased by about 200 to 96,819 from 96,628. This is 6,000 more than the 90,805 employees the previous December. There were 4,188 unemployed Midlanders in December, 300 less than the 4,497 in November and 3,700 less than the 7,950 unemployed last December.

Midland added 300 jobs from November to December for a non-farm payroll of 100,700. The gain was led by the trade, transportation and utilities sector with 200 new jobs. The mining, logging and construction sectors as well as education and health services each created 100 jobs. The public sector was the only sector to lose jobs, down 100 jobs for the month.

For the 12 months from December 2020 to December 2021, Midland added 6,200 jobs for a job growth rate of 6.6%. Midland’s dominant industrial sector, mining, logging and construction – which includes the oil and gas industry – dominated with the addition of 3,400 new jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector follows with 2,300 new jobs. Commerce, transport and public services added 600 new jobs. The financial activities sector added 300 jobs, followed by the manufacturing sector with 200 new jobs and the other services sector with the addition of 100 jobs.

The government sector recorded the largest job loss during the year, losing 400 jobs. Education and health services lost 200 jobs and professional and business services lost 100 jobs.

Statewide, the unemployment rate fell to 5% from 5.2% in November. Texas recorded a record employment level for a second consecutive month at 13,059,600 jobs. The state created 50,000 jobs in December, adding jobs in 19 of the past 20 months.

Amarillo and Austin-Round Rock each reported the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.9% each, followed by College Station-Bryan at 3.2% and Abilene and Lubbock at 3.3 % each. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission recorded the highest unemployment rate at 7.8%.

Midland unemployment

January 2021 8.2%

January 2020 2.4%

February 2021 8.3%

February 2020 2.3%

March 2021 7.6%

March 2020 3.4%

April 2021 6.9%

April 2020 10.2%

May 2021 6.2%

May 2020 12.3%

June 2021 6.7%

June 2020 12%

July 2021 6.0%

July 2020 11.6%

August 2021 5.3%

August 2020 8.5%

September 2021 4.9%

September 2020 9.8%

October 2021 4.7%

October 2020 8.8%

November 2021 4.5%

November 2020 8.6%

December 2021 4.1%

December 2020 8%

Preliminary figures for December with November figures in brackets:

Yellow 2.9 (3.1)

Austin-Round Rock 2.9 (3.2)

Station College-Bryan 3.2 (3.5)

Abilene 3.3 (3.6)

Lubbock 3.3 (3.6)

Sherman Denison 3.4 (3.8)

Waco 3.5 (3.9)

Dallas-Plano-Irving 3.6 (3.9)

San Angelo 3.6 (4.0)

Tyler 3.6 (3.9)

Fort Worth-Arlington 3.7 (4.0)

San Antonio-New Braunfels 3.7 (4.1)

Wichita Falls 3.8 (4.2)

Midland 4.1 (4.4)

Texarkana 4.1 (4.2)

Killeen Temple 4.4 (4.8)

El Paso 4.7 (5.0)

Spotting scope 4.7 (5.1)

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 4.8 (5.1)

Laredo 4.8 (5.0)

Victoria 5.0 (5.3)

Corpus Christi 5.8 (6.0)

Odessa 5.9 (6.3)

Brownsville-Harlingen 6.8 (6.8)

Beaumont-Port Arthur 7.2 (7.4)

McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission 7.8 (7.7)

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