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Unemployment numbers have fallen in Texas on the heels of a new economic stimulus package, but some areas are still struggling, including Lubbock, which has seen both a rise and fall in unemployment numbers over the past few months.

Texas has shown 9 consecutive months of job growth according to the Texas Workforce Commission. They released a jobs report on Friday, March 12 that shows Texas added 30,800 new nonfarm jobs over the month of January 2021.

The growth has brought down the state-wide unemployment rate slightly from 6.9% in December 2020 to 6.8%, but not every of Texas is seeing that same kind of growth. 

Lubbock has actually seen an increase in unemployment from 5.1% in December 2020 to 5.8% in January 2021. It's still less than the unemployment rate of 6.2% reported in November 2020 but also more than the 5% unemployment rate reported in October 2020.

That rate is also exactly double the unemployment rate of 2.5% reported in January of 2020, just before the pandemic started. The national unemployment rate also increased from 6.5% in December 2020 to 6.8% in January 2021, also more than double the record low unemployment rate of 3.4% reported in May 2019.

Lubbock may start to see more economic growth with the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress last week, which includes direct payments to Americans and extended unemployment benefits.

Most $1,400 direct payments to lower and middle class individuals are expected to hit banks accounts on their effective date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021. In addition, those receiving unemployment should see an additional $300 a week, a benefit set to expire, likely for the last time, on September 4, 2021.

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