Historically, Atascosa County’s unemployment rate reached a record high of 13.7% in May 2020 when the economy shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That number decreased by about 4% when Gov. Greg Abbott began reopening Texas in June. As of August 2020, Atascosa County’s unemployment rate sits at 7.9% with the continued reopening of the Texas economy.
Adrian Lopez, CEO of Workforce Solutions Alamo (WSA), gave a briefing at the Oct. 12 Commissioners Court meeting on the unemployment claims within its 12-county region from March 2020 through the week of September 7, 2020. During his presentation, Lopez explained that Atascosa County accounts for just 8.9% of the unemployment claimants in WSA’s region made up of Bandera, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, McMullen, Medina and Wilson County. He presented a graph to Commissioners with the number of unemployment claims WSA saw on a weekly and monthly basis in the region.
At the beginning of March, unemployment claims were as low as 840, but by the end of the month when COVID-19 hit the economy, those claims jumped to 32,372 across the region.
“When we opened up around mid-May, we started to see those unemployment claims actually start to go down on a weekly basis,” said Lopez. “The good news is that while you see COVID-19 cases start to reduce, you actually start to see the unemployment claims also reduce and as the Governor moves forward in reopening parts of the economy,” said Lopez.
Unemployment claims across the region on a monthly basis showed that May (53.1K) had about half the total number of claimants of April (109.3K). August (33.34K) showed a decline of -16.3% in claims compared to July’s 39.9K claimants. According to WSA’s report, Lopez stated that younger workers have been the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic this year. The proportion of individuals ages 34 and under filing claims account for almost half of all claimants at 48.2%.
Please see accompanying graphs for a weekly and monthly breakdown of unemployment claims across the region.
For more information on unemployment claims in Atascosa County, please reach out to Workforce Solutions Alamo by calling their office at 830- 569-4702 or visiting their location at 1411 Bensdale Rd. in Pleasanton. They are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.