Texas has a solid amount of jobs but are they in the places that matter? A new study is out that shows whats going on with employment AND unemployment in The Lone Star State! Let's talk about unemployment, but not just any unemployment rate – the True Rate of Unemployment which you can learn even more about here on Axios. It’s a measure that reveals the real story behind the numbers, capturing those who are job hunting but can't find full-time work, are unemployed, or are stuck in low-wage jobs.

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What is the True Rate of Unemployment?

The Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity has a unique way of measuring unemployment. Unlike the official rate, which can be misleadingly low, their True Rate of Unemployment gives us the full picture. It counts everyone struggling to find a decent job, including those earning less than a living wage (that's under $25k a year). This approach highlights the full spectrum of inequality within the U.S. and Texas.

Texas Cities and Their Rates

Zooming in on Texas, we see some stark differences:

  • San Antonio: 27%
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington: Close to 20%
  • Austin and Houston: Each at 24%
  • Laredo: A shocking 52%
  • McAllen: 48%, with some 35% of the over-25 population lacking a high school diploma

El Paso sits at a significant rate of 32%, indicating a substantial portion of its workforce is struggling.

The bottom line? Texas may have plenty of jobs, but the challenge lies in making sure they’re accessible to everyone, everywhere. Despite having the busiest port in Laredo, many still face high unemployment. This is a wake-up call to address these disparities and ensure everyone has a fair shot at earning a living wage. The reality is that good jobs aren’t evenly spread out, and it's crucial to bridge this gap to create a more balanced economic landscape.

LOOK: These Are the Counties With the Highest Unemployment in Texas

Stacker compiled a list of the counties with the highest unemployment in Texas using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in November 2023.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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