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Sher-Den unemployment drops to 5 percent

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
The Sherman-Denison unemployment dropped to just 5 percent for the month of August.

The Texoma employment market continued to see improvement in August as the unemployment number continued to fall.

The Texas Workforce Commission numbers show the Sherman-Denison area saw an unemployment rate of 5 percent for the month of August. This was down nearly 1 percent from the rate seen in July.

This marks the latest month that the region has seen improvement following closures and layoffs across the nation in March and April amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it shows we continue to trend down on unemployment,” Workforce Solutions Texoma Deputy Director Marsha Lindsey said. “We had our high of 10.6 percent in Grayson County back in April and every month since then it has continued to trend downward.

The region saw significant improvement across all industries, but the dining and restaurant industry has been the big winner in recent months, Lindsey said. Currently, restaurants around the state are allowed to remain open for dine-in customers at a 75 percent capacity.

Outside of the unemployment rate itself, August’s numbers showed an increase in the region’s workforce by nearly 2,000 for the month of August alone. While increases this time of year are not uncommon, Lindsey said this was well above what is normally seen.

“That was a really high number compared to July and when compared to June,” she said.

Lindsey attributed this change to a variety of possible causes. The numbers could reflect workers who had fallen off of the count due to extended unemployment in recent months. Alternatively, it could have been workers from other regions traveling to Texoma for work.

Texoma’s unemployment rate remained significantly under the national and state averages. For the month, the U.S. saw a rate of 8.5 percent while Texas remained under the curve with 7.0 percent unemployment.

“Our unemployment rate continues to demonstrate that our Texas employers are hiring,”TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson said. “Our office continues to be an essential resource to our Texas employers by providing them with relevant information as they continue to move forward during these unprecedented times.”

Lindsey said the rate could continue to decrease, especially during the fall months as holiday shopping and seasonal employment begin. However, she cautioned that some experts believe that 2020 could see more online holiday shopping and less in-person shoppers.

“If we keep this going, and the flu season doesn’t impact the Corona Virus all together, I think we will be back at that 4 percent before you know it,” she said.

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.