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Despite a dramatic month-to-month increase in COVID-19 infections, the City of Lubbock reported a decrease in unemployment for the month of October 2020. According to data released by the Texas Workforce Commission, Lubbock’s unemployment rate fell almost a full percentage point (0.9) from 6% in September 2020 to 5.1% in October 2020.

The decrease in Lubbock unemployment actually corrects an increase in unemployment for the month of September 2020. In August, the unemployment rate for Lubbock was 5.2%, but that increased to 6% in September, and has now decreased again back to 5.1%.

Surprisingly, the Amarillo Metropolitan Statistical Area has consistently held the state’s lowest unemployment rate, falling to a low of just 4.4% in October. Meanwhile, the City of Odessa currently holds the highest unemployment rate in Texas at 11.4%.

Texas as a whole has seen a decrease in unemployment from 8.3% in September to 6.9% in October. That mimics the national unemployment rate of 6.9%, down from 7.9% in September.

Many are holding their breath for another COVID-19 relief bill that would hopefully include increased unemployment benefits, more loan money for the Payment Protection Program, and another round of direct payments to individuals and families still struggling to get through the pandemic.

Politico reported on Thursday, Nov. 19, that Democrats and Republicans in Congress may soon resume talks on both an Omnibus package to fund the government and another COVID-19 relief bill.