Lubbock Continues Economic Recovery from COVID-19 Pandemic
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its preliminary employment data for May 2022. More than two years removed from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the data shows that Lubbock is recovering well when compared to the United States as a whole.
The United States has seen an overall shrinking of its labor force since February 2020. This has been attributed to different factors, such as many workers opting to retire rather than return to the workplace, but presents an ongoing challenge for businesses looking to be fully staffed. Statewide, Texas has seen a 4.1% increase in its labor force when compared to February 2020. Lubbock is not far behind the mark set by the Lone Star State, as our local labor force has increased by 3.3% since the onset of the pandemic.
Not only has the labor force increased in Lubbock, but people are finding jobs for the most part as well. The total non-farm employment in Lubbock was 150.7k pre-pandemic and stands at 155.8k as of May. That accounts for a 3.4% increase, which outpaces Texas' non-farm employment growth in the same time span (3%) while the US has declined by 0.5%.
The United States unemployment rate was 3.5% in February 2020, and stands at 3.6% as of May 2022. While on the surface that appears to be good news, the perceived recovery is due in part to people leaving the workforce. Texas has seen a 0.7% increase in its unemployment rate from February 2020 to May 2022, but with more people in the labor force and more people employed than pre-pandemic. In Lubbock , the unemployment rate was 2.7% pre-pandemic and is down to 3% from a pandemic high of 9.1% despite more people entering the workforce locally over the last 2+ years.