Overview: The Texas Workforce Commission recently released the Texas jobs report for July 2020. The report highlights improvements in the state’s labor market but there are challenges to get back to its peak in February 2020, which was before the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns of society by state and local governments. Texas’s private employment in July during the government-induced recession due to COVID-19 is at the lowest level since December 2016.

Details: The Texas labor market has improved in recent months but remains below February highs. The following information provides data to compare the following: 1) June 2009 was the dated trough of the last U.S. recession, 2) February 2020 was the dated peak of the last U.S. expansion, 3) April 2020 is the low for most labor market data, and 4) July 2020 is the latest period available.

There was substantial growth in the Texas labor market from the end of the last U.S. recession in June 2009 to the most recent economic peak in February 2020. The labor market across the state weakened from March to April due to the severe and quick recession induced by state and local governments in response to COVID-19. The Texas labor market situation has since started to recover but there is still much room for improvement.

Recommendations: The Foundation’s Recovery Agenda would protect individual liberties and prevent the expansion of government so the lives and livelihoods of Texans can flourish:

  • Safely reopen society by ending state and local government-mandated lockdowns and focus on targeting resources to populations most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.
  • Cover government budget shortfalls with savings from reducing non-essential programs.
  • Enforce state property tax reforms with a goal of reducing taxes.
  • Eliminate regulations not necessary for public health & safety.