Unemployed in local families triple in Medina, Atascosa Counties over past three months

As of the end of April, Texas Labor Market Information reports show that the unemployment rates in Medina, Frio and Atascosa Counties have tripled in Medina and Atascosa Counties, and doubled in Frio County when compared to the unemployment rate in the beginning of the year.

Over 5,100 people across Medina, Frio and Atascosa Counties are listed as unemployed, up from 1,890 which was the number of unemployed listed in January. Surely those numbers will have grown as the reports for the month of May come out.

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Those numbers include people who are receiving unemployment benefits and/or have applied for unemployment. *The Civilian Labor Force in the chart represents the total number of employed and people on unemployment benefits in that region.

The Texas Tribune reported that the state of Texas 12.8% unemployment rate is the highest recorded since the State’s  unemployment rate hit 9.2% in 1986 after a large oil bust.

“The state’s April jobless rate was 12.8% — Texas’ worst monthly tally on record. That number, included in the Labor Department’s monthly report released Friday, is the government’s clearest and most comprehensive look at the economic devastation in Texas since the coronavirus pandemic first swept the state in March,” the Texas Tribune article reported.

Unemployment rates across the US have risen to 14. 7% as of the end  of April. Unemployment during the The Great Depression was estimated at 25%.

While the Depression is widely regarded as one of the darkest times in American history, the end of some things marks new beginnings too.

In fact, my great-great-grandfather Willie Eugene and Pauline Calame traveled to Devine, Texas in the mid 1930’s shortly after the Great Depression and Dust Bowl hit, turning their family farm into a desert. They opened what is known as Calame Store, which served the community for many years.

Ironically, a great-great-grandson, Sherman Lowry Calame, re-opened the doors of that the old family business, Calame Store, about 7 months before the beginning of the nationwide pandemic struck in 2020.

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