As talk of recession looms, economists are keeping a close eye on jobless claims. Jobless claims are a leading indicator in the economy, heralding forthcoming economic shifts. If a recession is indeed on the horizon, we would expect to see an increase in jobless claims in the coming weeks and months as recessions tend to bring layoffs.

Jobless claims are a count of people applying for unemployment. These data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and are sorted into two categories: new claims and continuous claims. New claims are simply the number of new people filing for unemployment, while continuous claims are those still on unemployment from previous weeks. Both are important signals of economics health, as an increase in total jobless claims can forewarn downturns in disposable income and other factors that weaken the economy. In this post, we examine these metrics for the last week of 2022 and we will reexamine the topic again in subsequent months as we head into the first quarter of 2023.

The last week of 2022 ended strong in Texas. New jobless claims were down 25% from the previous week. However, winter saw a rise in total jobless claims and 2022 ended much where it began, despite a dip in continued claims in the summer.  During the first week of 2022 there were around 114,000 continued jobless claims; while in the last week, there were around 117,00. But the winter doesn’t look entirely bleak. With a jobless rate of 0.9%, Texas ranks 29th in the Unites States from highest to lowest in terms of jobless claims (New Jersey being the highest).

Jobless Claims for the State of Texas in 2022

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