Unemployment rates, while significantly lower than the alarming pandemic peak of 14.7% experienced in April 2020, remain a subject of concern, notably as economic experts bandy around the idea of a potential recession by 2023. The last economic recession—the Great Recession of 2008-2010—sent rates up to 10% as of October 2009. It was not until the spring of 2019 that unemployment finally went down to the same level it sits at now.

As of May of this year, national unemployment is at 3.6%—as it was in both March and April, marking a three-month stagnation—following a steady drop since that aforementioned COVID-affected peak. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state demonstrate a rather sizable spectrum, ranging from just 1.9% in Nebraska, to 5.1% in New Mexico and 5.7% in the District of Columbia. Further breakdown by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows yet another county-based spectrum within each state.

To that end, Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment rate in Texas using data from the BLS. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in May 2022, which as of this writing is the most current Bureau data.

#50. Brazoria County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.7%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.0%
– Total labor force: 183,651 (8627 unemployed)

#49. Grimes County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.7%
— 1 month change: +0.3%
— 1 year change: -1.7%
– Total labor force: 11,102 (523 unemployed)

#48. Panola County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.7%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.2%
– Total labor force: 9,679 (456 unemployed)

#47. Ector County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.8%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -3.7%
– Total labor force: 81,398 (3911 unemployed)

#46. Harrison County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.8%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.7%
– Total labor force: 28,356 (1350 unemployed)

#45. Kleberg County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.8%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.1%
– Total labor force: 13,580 (647 unemployed)

#44. Pecos County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.8%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -2.2%
– Total labor force: 5,787 (280 unemployed)

#43. Yoakum County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.8%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.9%
– Total labor force: 3,169 (153 unemployed)

#42. Howard County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.9%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -1.3%
– Total labor force: 13,416 (659 unemployed)

#41. Marion County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.9%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -1.8%
– Total labor force: 4,230 (209 unemployed)

#40. Mitchell County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.9%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.6%
– Total labor force: 2,313 (114 unemployed)

#39. Nueces County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.9%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -1.9%
– Total labor force: 164,126 (7994 unemployed)

#38. Refugio County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.9%
— 1 month change: +0.4%
— 1 year change: -1.5%
– Total labor force: 3,034 (150 unemployed)

#37. Wilbarger County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.9%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -1.6%
– Total labor force: 4,751 (232 unemployed)

#36. Winkler County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.9%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.6%
– Total labor force: 3,669 (178 unemployed)

#35. San Jacinto County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.0%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.3%
– Total labor force: 11,936 (596 unemployed)

#34. Duval County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.1%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.3%
– Total labor force: 5,481 (280 unemployed)

#33. Leon County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.1%
— 1 month change: +0.4%
— 1 year change: -1.7%
– Total labor force: 6,203 (314 unemployed)

#32. Aransas County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.2%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.0%
– Total labor force: 9,274 (479 unemployed)

#31. Cochran County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.3%
— 1 month change: +0.5%
— 1 year change: -0.2%
– Total labor force: 1,099 (58 unemployed)

#30. Hardin County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.4%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.8%
– Total labor force: 24,775 (1339 unemployed)

#29. Trinity County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.4%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.9%
– Total labor force: 5,287 (284 unemployed)

#28. Chambers County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.5%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.9%
– Total labor force: 20,934 (1160 unemployed)

#27. Freestone County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.5%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.6%
– Total labor force: 6,248 (343 unemployed)

#26. Sutton County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.5%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -2.4%
– Total labor force: 1,106 (61 unemployed)

#25. Crane County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.7%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -3.9%
– Total labor force: 1,545 (88 unemployed)

#24. Polk County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.9%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.1%
– Total labor force: 18,201 (1082 unemployed)

#23. Tyler County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.9%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.6%
– Total labor force: 7,481 (445 unemployed)

#22. Jim Hogg County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.0%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.8%
– Total labor force: 1,821 (110 unemployed)

#21. Brooks County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.1%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.7%
– Total labor force: 2,469 (150 unemployed)

#20. Cameron County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.1%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.0%
– Total labor force: 175,283 (10627 unemployed)

#19. Liberty County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.2%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.9%
– Total labor force: 35,216 (2174 unemployed)

#18. Orange County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.2%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -3.0%
– Total labor force: 34,749 (2156 unemployed)

#17. San Augustine County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.4%
— 1 month change: +0.3%
— 1 year change: -2.2%
– Total labor force: 2,962 (191 unemployed)

#16. Jim Wells County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.5%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -3.7%
– Total labor force: 15,365 (994 unemployed)

#15. San Patricio County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.5%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.2%
– Total labor force: 29,431 (1903 unemployed)

#14. Bee County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.6%
— 1 month change: +0.3%
— 1 year change: -2.0%
– Total labor force: 8,878 (587 unemployed)

#13. Matagorda County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.6%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.6%
– Total labor force: 16,314 (1083 unemployed)

#12. Jasper County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.8%
— 1 month change: +0.3%
— 1 year change: -2.9%
– Total labor force: 12,787 (875 unemployed)

#11. Jefferson County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.8%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -3.4%
– Total labor force: 101,015 (6904 unemployed)

#10. Hidalgo County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.9%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.3%
– Total labor force: 368,520 (25461 unemployed)

#9. Presidio County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.9%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -4.1%
– Total labor force: 3,135 (217 unemployed)

#8. Morris County

– Current unemployment rate: 7.1%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -3.2%
– Total labor force: 4,389 (313 unemployed)

#7. Sabine County

– Current unemployment rate: 7.1%
— 1 month change: +0.4%
— 1 year change: -2.3%
– Total labor force: 3,997 (284 unemployed)

#6. Newton County

– Current unemployment rate: 7.3%
— 1 month change: +0.4%
— 1 year change: -3.4%
– Total labor force: 4,878 (357 unemployed)

#5. Zapata County

– Current unemployment rate: 8.5%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -4.7%
– Total labor force: 4,366 (371 unemployed)

#4. Willacy County

– Current unemployment rate: 9.2%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -1.3%
– Total labor force: 7,295 (670 unemployed)

#3. Maverick County

– Current unemployment rate: 9.4%
— 1 month change: -0.4%
— 1 year change: -3.8%
– Total labor force: 23,026 (2169 unemployed)

#2. Zavala County

– Current unemployment rate: 9.7%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.4%
– Total labor force: 3,239 (313 unemployed)

#1. Starr County

– Current unemployment rate: 12.5%
— 1 month change: -0.4%
— 1 year change: -3.9%
– Total labor force: 24,338 (3052 unemployed)