Unemployment rate drops below 6% in Smith County as East Texas economy recovers from pandemic

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Unemployment rates in Texas are decreasing, and this is positive news for businesses and the workforce.

Recently, Governor Greg Abbott also decided to opt out of federal jobless assistance as the state began reopening after the effects of the pandemic.

Smith County had an unemployment rate of 3.5% before COVID-19, and this increased to 12.5% after the country shut down due to the pandemic.

In 2021, the rate decreased to 5.6%.

This pattern can be seen for most East Texas counties.

Also, data from the Tyler Economic Development Council from recent months shows that more people are applying for jobs.

Victor Valle, Vice President of the Tyler Economic Development Council, said the booming healthcare industry is creating jobs in the city.

“I think people are going to join the labor force or going to be forced to join the labor force, which is good for the economy. What we’re seeing is that there are more positions that are opening in Tyler for healthcare related jobs. And, what we’re seeing is interestingly enough Tyler is actually filling up faster than most of its peer cities in the nation,” he mentioned.

Unemployment also significantly impacted South Texas, where many people work in the oil fields. But, data demonstrates the state is recovering. The highest unemployment rate in East Texas is Morris County at 11.3% and the lowest is Rains County at 3.9%.

Unemployment rates in East Texas:

  • RAINS – 3.9% (lowest)
  • SMITH – 5.6%
  • GREGG- 7%
  • UPSHUR – 6.7%
  • RUSK – 6.6%
  • CHEROKEE – 6.8%
  • NACOGDOCHES – 5.9%
  • ANGELINA – 7.2%
  • HOUSTON – 5.5%
  • TRINITY – 7.7%
  • HARRISON – 7.2%
  • WOOD – 5.8%
  • CAMP- 6.5%
  • FRANKLIN – 5.1%
  • SAN AUGUSTINE – 9.3%
  • SABINE – 9.9%
  • ANDERSON – 5.4%
  • HENDERSON – 5.6%
  • VAN ZANDT – 5.1%
  • HOPKINS – 4.7%
  • TITUS – 5.6%
  • BOWIE – 6.2%
  • CASS – 7.4%
  • MARION – 7.7%
  • PANOLA – 7.8%
  • SHELBY – 6.1%
  • POLK – 8.6%
  • MORRIS – 11.3% (highest)

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