By Stacker

While significantly lower than the alarming pandemic peak of 14.7% experienced in April 2020, unemployment rates remain a subject of concern, though experts’ views on a potential recession are mixed. The last economic recession—the Great Recession of 2007-2009—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.

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As of May 2023, national unemployment is at 3.4%, with little change from April. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state demonstrate a rather sizable spectrum, ranging from just 1.9% in South Dakota to 5.4% in Nevada.

Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment rates in Texas using Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Counties are ranked by their preliminary unemployment rate in May 2023, with initial ties broken by the number of unemployed people within that county, though some ties may remain. County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

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#50. Walker County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.7%
— 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
– Total labor force: 24,247 people (1,148 unemployed)

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#49. Harrison County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.7%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
– Total labor force: 29,137 people (1,364 unemployed)

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#48. Crane County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
– Total labor force: 1,680 people (80 unemployed)

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#47. Eastland County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
– Total labor force: 6,544 people (312 unemployed)

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#46. Limestone County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
– Total labor force: 8,439 people (404 unemployed)

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#45. Hale County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
— 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
– Total labor force: 11,392 people (552 unemployed)

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#44. Nacogdoches County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
— 1-month change: Up 0.8 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
– Total labor force: 27,569 people (1,327 unemployed)

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#43. Bailey County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.9%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
– Total labor force: 2,425 people (120 unemployed)

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#42. Madison County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.9%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
– Total labor force: 4,778 people (235 unemployed)

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#41. Coleman County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
– Total labor force: 3,072 people (153 unemployed)

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#40. Red River County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
– Total labor force: 4,987 people (248 unemployed)

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#39. Cass County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
– Total labor force: 11,810 people (593 unemployed)

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#38. San Jacinto County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5%
— 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
– Total labor force: 12,164 people (612 unemployed)

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#37. San Patricio County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5%
— 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
— 1-year change: Down 0.6 percentage points
– Total labor force: 29,435 people (1,470 unemployed)

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#36. Kinney County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.1%
— 1-month change: Up 1.0 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
– Total labor force: 1,237 people (63 unemployed)

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#35. Jim Hogg County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.1%
— 1-month change: Up 0.9 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
– Total labor force: 1,779 people (91 unemployed)

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#34. Marion County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.1%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
– Total labor force: 4,130 people (211 unemployed)

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#33. Trinity County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.1%
— 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
– Total labor force: 5,372 people (274 unemployed)

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#32. Leon County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.1%
— 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
– Total labor force: 5,927 people (305 unemployed)

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#31. Aransas County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.1%
— 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
– Total labor force: 9,388 people (476 unemployed)

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#30. Hardin County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.2%
— 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
– Total labor force: 25,356 people (1,317 unemployed)

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#29. Hardeman County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.3%
— 1-month change: Up 0.8 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 2.1 percentage points
– Total labor force: 1,841 people (97 unemployed)

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#28. Brooks County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.3%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
– Total labor force: 2,309 people (123 unemployed)

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#27. Bee County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.4%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
– Total labor force: 9,283 people (497 unemployed)

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#26. Jim Wells County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.4%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
– Total labor force: 15,606 people (848 unemployed)

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#25. San Augustine County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.5%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
– Total labor force: 3,142 people (174 unemployed)

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#24. Matagorda County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.5%
— 1-month change: Up 0.8 percentage points
— 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
– Total labor force: 17,841 people (976 unemployed)

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#23. Polk County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.5%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
– Total labor force: 18,912 people (1,043 unemployed)

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#22. Wilbarger County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.6%
— 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 1.1 percentage points
– Total labor force: 4,784 people (266 unemployed)

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#21. Liberty County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.6%
— 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
– Total labor force: 35,884 people (2,001 unemployed)

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#20. Cameron County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.7%
— 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
– Total labor force: 180,189 people (10,330 unemployed)

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#19. Freestone County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.8%
— 1-month change: Up 1.1 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
– Total labor force: 6,381 people (369 unemployed)

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#18. Chambers County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.8%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 1.1 percentage points
– Total labor force: 21,562 people (1,242 unemployed)

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#16. Orange County (tie)

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.8%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
– Total labor force: 35,480 people (2,051 unemployed)

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#16. Zapata County (tie)

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.1%
— 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
— 1-year change: Down 1.0 percentage points
– Total labor force: 4,456 people (271 unemployed)

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#15. Morris County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.2%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
– Total labor force: 4,423 people (273 unemployed)

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#14. Val Verde County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.2%
— 1-month change: Up 2.1 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 2.1 percentage points
– Total labor force: 22,141 people (1,364 unemployed)

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#13. Hidalgo County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.2%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
– Total labor force: 378,011 people (23,287 unemployed)

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#12. Tyler County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.3%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
– Total labor force: 7,077 people (445 unemployed)

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#11. Sutton County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.5%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 1.1 percentage points
– Total labor force: 959 people (62 unemployed)

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#10. Jasper County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.4%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
– Total labor force: 12,723 people (819 unemployed)

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#9. Sabine County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.8%
— 1-month change: Up 1.1 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
– Total labor force: 3,924 people (265 unemployed)

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#8. Jefferson County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.7%
— 1-month change: Up 0.8 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
– Total labor force: 103,448 people (6,957 unemployed)

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#7. Presidio County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.9%
— 1-month change: Up 1.1 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 1.2 percentage points
– Total labor force: 3,058 people (210 unemployed)

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#6. Zavala County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 7.3%
— 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Down 1.3 percentage points
– Total labor force: 3,522 people (258 unemployed)

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#5. Kenedy County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 7.6%
— 1-month change: Up 1.6 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 2.2 percentage points
– Total labor force: 132 people (10 unemployed)

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#4. Newton County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 7.5%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 1.1 percentage points
– Total labor force: 5,003 people (374 unemployed)

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#3. Willacy County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 8.1%
— 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
— 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
– Total labor force: 7,404 people (603 unemployed)

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#2. Maverick County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 8.5%
— 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
— 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
– Total labor force: 23,460 people (1,988 unemployed)

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#1. Starr County

– May unemployment rate (preliminary): 9.3%
— 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
— 1-year change: Down 0.7 percentage points
– Total labor force: 24,148 people (2,235 unemployed)