SherDen unemployment increases 1.1 percent in Nov.

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The Sherman-Denison unemployment rate increased to 6.1 percent for the month of November, according to the Texas Workforce Commission's latest jobs report.

The Sherman-Denison unemployment rate rose for the month of November as it continued its rollercoaster course through the fall and winter months.

The Texas Workforce commission released its monthly job report for November, which reported that the local unemployment rate rose 1.1 percent for the month. This continued a four-month back-and-forth as the rate has bounced between 5 and 6 percent.

"If I had been making predictions of what would happen from October to December, I would think we would go down half a point to 4.5 (percent)," Workforce Solutions Texoma Executive Director Janie Bates said. "We are all kind of surprised it has gone up."

Traditionally, the end of the year signals a drop in unemployment as retailers and other businesses hire due to the holiday rush. However, that is not seen in this year's numbers, Bates said.

The Workforce Commission reported that the number of unemployed workers in Sherman-Denison increased by about 800. This matches an increase to the total civilian labor force, which also increased by 800.

Bates, in part attributed this to a number of factors, including students who are not currently taking classes, people looking for part-time work and changes to the the unemployment requirements the reinstanted mandatory job searches.

"I think some of it is because we have more people job searching this time of year," Bates said. "Many times people just want to get a temporary job so that they can earn some money for the holiday." 

However, these factors didn't have a positive impact on the local unemployment.

One factor that is different in 2020, however, is the way that holiday shoppers are making their purchases. Rather than shop in store during the pandemic, many customers have gone online for the purchases, she said.

This has led to a reduced need for seasonal workers in brick-and-mortar shops.

Bates said she expects that unemployment rate will continue to increase in the coming months as many employers reduce their staff following the holiday, as is normal for the beginning of the year.

The increasing local unemployment rate comes as the state rate also saw increases in the month of November. The state rate increased from 6.7 percent to 8 percent, while the national rate declined slightly from 6.6 percent to 6.4 percent.

“November marks the seventh consecutive month of job growth in Texas, thanks to the determination of Texas businesses and job seekers to connect for valuable opportunities in Texas industries” TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel said. “As Texas businesses and job seekers adapt to changes in our economy, we can expect continued fluctuations, but TWC will continue to respond to trending needs and offer resources to workers and business that bolster the state’s economy.”