Bryan, College Station unemployment rate improves to 4.4 percent

BCS has the third best unemployment rate in the state.
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 2:48 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:47 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Economic indicators show improvements for the Bryan and College Station area. New monthly data from the Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center shows the unemployment rate for July improved to 4.4 percent. Previously it stood at 5 percent for our area.

The Bryan and College Station Metro area had the third lowest unemployment rate in the state. Amarillo and Austin-Round Rock had the lowest unemployment rates in the state at 4.2 percent. Beaumont - Port Arthur ranked worst in the state at 10.3 percent.

While the unemployment rate is fairing better in the area, local businesses say there are still challenges finding enough people from the work force. Industries like restaurants are still seeing a labor shortage with open positions and not enough people hired.

The Toasted Yolk Café, which has only been open for two weeks, is still in need of more employees.

“We’re finding more of an issue with the back of the house in our kitchen. We’re well staffed up front, so our servers are good,” said Mary Wong, the restaurants co-owner.

She and her husband Scott Wong have more than 25 years experience in the restaurant business.

“Obviously there is shortage of cooks and people working in the back of the house.”

Management at Blue Baker in College Station says there are challenges for their restaurants even as unemployment numbers improve.

“I think it’s a variety of factors, in the early part of the pandemic a lot of restaurants were closed and so all those workers went and found other things right? And there’s a lot of people that just want to be in another industry,” said Zach Langenkamp, Blue Baker President.

Statewide, the unemployment rate improved to 5.9 percent, while nationally it’s 5.2 percent.

“The data tells us things are improving,” said Dennis Jansen, Ph.D., with the Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center. While he said things are improving, the Delta variant is slowing our path to recovery.

“Either it’s a pay issue. It’s an issue of people have changed their mind about their willingness to work before or after COVID after experiencing COVID and everything that’s happened. And so the labor force participating has actually declined,” said Jansen.

“If you’re also looking for a job come apply with us as well,” added Scott Wong.

We have the latest data here from the Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center.

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