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Workforce development groups optimistic about future as Texas jobless rate goes down

Increased vaccination rates and expiration of certain federal coronavirus-related unemployment benefits may result in more job applicants, according to experts.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio’s unemployment rate is sitting lower than the state’s jobless rate, which has local workforce development organizations striving toward bolstering job recruitment efforts. 

The Lone Star’s unemployment rate fell to 6.5% in May, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

That number is down 0.2 percentage points from April and a decline of more than 12 points from April 2020.

The Texas Workforce Commission reports the state added more than 34,000 jobs in a variety of industries in May.

Commission spokesman Cisco Gamez said there are more than 850,000 jobs available online through Mytxcareer.com.

“Our job is to connect job seekers with employers. We want to open those doors to career opportunities, not just a job but a career,” Gamez said.

San Antonio-New Braunfels’ unemployment is 5.3% as of May. At the same time one year ago, the area’s jobless rate sat around 12%.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the City of San Antonio to partner with multiple workforce development organizations to prepare job seekers for the future through the Train for Jobs SA program.

“What we try to focus on with these types of resources is we focus on high growth, high wage. Everything from construction to IT cyber security to health care,” said Adrian Lopez, CEO of Workforce Solutions Alamo.

The expiration of certain coronavirus-related unemployment benefits and increasing coronavirus vaccinate rates are paving the way for more a busier job market.

Romanita Matta-Barrera serves as executive director for the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.

She said the barrier of child care continues to factor into parents and guardians looking to secure work. But that could change come the fall months.

“But there’s also an opportunity there with the fall school year potentially looking very different and starting to see schools requiring for students to be back at school. I think that will give adults and parents and guardians the flexibility to be able to go on and back to work,” Matta-Barrera said.