Jobless rates in New Braunfels and Comal County declined in October compared to the previous month, falling below 6%, according to data from the Texas Workforce Commission.

New Braunfels’ unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% in October from 6.4% in September. New Braunfels’ jobless rate in October 2019 was 2.7%.

The decrease was due to the civilian labor force, the number of people working or looking for work who are not employed with any government or military institution, shrinking while the number of unemployed also declined.

The TWC data showed that the number of people employed in New Braunfels rose to 40,876 last month from 40,570 in September.

Michael Meek, president and CEO of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, said the October employment data is certainly encouraging during the pandemic.

“Our labor force grew while unemployment dropped considerably,” Meek said. “Some business sectors have remained strong while some have really suffered like the hospitality industry. That is a large employment sector for us, especially during the summer season. We are working hard to encourage citizens to shop local, especially this holiday shopping season. Many merchants have on-line options, so it’s the best of both environments, in-person and virtual.”

The unemployment rate in Comal County dropped to 5.3% in October, compared to the September rate of 6.4%. Comal County’s unemployment rate in October 2019 was 2.8%.

The data showed that the number of people employed in Comal County was 69,124 in October, up from 68,629 in September.

The number in the civilian labor force shrank compared to the prior month.

Unemployment rates in surrounding counties in October: Hays County, 5.1%, a decrease from 6.2% in October; Guadalupe County, 5.1%, a decrease from 5.3%; Bexar County, 6.5%, a decrease from 8%; and Kendall County, 4.3%, a decrease from 5.1%.

Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision.

Texas’ private sector added 136,300 jobs over the month, and the Texas unemployment rate fell to 6.9% in October from 8.3% in September. The state’s unemployment rate for October is in line with the national unemployment rate of 6.9%.

“While the unemployment rate captures only a snapshot of our economy at a specific moment in time, the job growth we have seen over the past six months shows an enduring strength in the state’s economy,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel in a statement. “To maximize our efforts, TWC will continue to provide opportunities for Texans to enhance their job skills, search for new jobs and participate in other workforce services at one of our many Workforce Solutions Offices.”

In October, the professional and business services sector added 45,200 jobs — the largest monthly increase recorded for this industry since the series began in 1990. 

Leisure and hospitality added 27,700 jobs and trade, transportation and utilities added 19,300 jobs.

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