BRAZOS VALLEY, TX — On Feb 22, the A&M Private Enterprise Research Center confirmed that College Station-Bryan had the second-lowest unemployment rate in the state at 5.4%.
This ranking actually ties them with Austin-Round Rock for the first time ever. With Amarillo having the lowest rate at 5.2%.
So how did they calculate these rankings?
Using their metropolitan statistical area (MSA), this definition of a metropolitan area is established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
The extent of the College Station-Bryan MSA is defined by the Census Bureau and includes Brazos, Burleson, and Robertson counties.
This Business-Cycle Index is re-estimated each month using the most recent data for the four economic variables included in the model: the unemployment rate, non-farm employment, real wages, and real taxable sales.
What do these rankings mean?
College Station-Bryan MSA's hit their record high for unemployment insurance claims on the week ending on April 4, with 1.5% of Feb 2020's employment, respectively.
Since then, claims steadily decreased across all MSAs, with a notable increase for the week ending July 4. Since the week ending December 26, 2020, unemployment insurance claims have increased across the state, but with a slight decline for most MSAs for the week ending on January 30.
After contracting in November, the CSB Business-Cycle rose 1.8% between November and December. The local unemployment rate decreased from 5.9% in November to 5.4% in December.
Non-farm employment showed an increase of 1% from 119,000 workers in November to 120,100 in December.
Additionally, inflation-adjusted taxable sales, increased 1.1% between November and December.
Why might this be?
The Dallas Fed’s Mobility and Engagement Index (MEI) uses mobile device data to analyze people’s geographic movements, time spent at home and away from home, as well as the distance of trips to create a measure that tracks a population’s activity.
In terms of leaving home and taking trips, College Station-Bryan residents have been the most active during the pandemic relative to residents in other Texas metropolitan areas.
To view A&M Private Enterprise Research Center's full report, click HERE.