UPDATED: The Woodlands area's monthly unemployment insurance claims drop to 20% of spring high

Less than 2,000 residents of The Woodlands area filed for unemployment insurance with the Texas Workforce Commission from early July into August. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Less than 2,000 residents of The Woodlands area filed for unemployment insurance with the Texas Workforce Commission from early July into August. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Less than 2,000 residents of The Woodlands area filed for unemployment insurance with the Texas Workforce Commission from early July into August. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Updated Aug. 21 9:59 a.m.

The trend of declining unemployment insurance claims filed monthly throughout The Woodlands area continued into early August, according to recent updates from the Texas Workforce Commission.

The number of claims filed July 8-Aug. 8 across the seven ZIP codes in Community Impact Newspaper's The Woodlands coverage area fell below 2,000 for the first one-month space since COVID-19 was identified in Montgomery County in March. Decreases were also reported over the workforce commission's previous one-month intervals of June 24-July 25 and July 1-Aug. 1.

The 1,913 claims filed July 8-Aug. 8 represent 20.25% of the 9,445 filings filed during a local surge in unemployment insurance claims reported March 18-April 18. Of the new filings from early July into August, just over 500 came from ZIP code 77386—which has the highest local population—while the remaining six ZIP codes were recorded with 192 to 303 claims each.

Montgomery County as a whole also reached its lowest number of unemployment insurance claims July 8-Aug. 8 since the peak spring period. The 5,659 claims reported over that time represent 25.27% of the 22,397 claims filed March 18-April 18 and follow several successive periods with falling claim numbers.

The number of claims filed countywide during the week ending Aug. 8, 892, was the lowest reported since the week ending March 14—just as the first COVID-19 case was identified in Montgomery County. That figure is nearly 300% higher than the 226 claims filed during the week ending Aug. 8 in 2019.


Updated July 31, 3:06 p.m.

The number of unemployment insurance claims filed across The Woodlands area fell to its lowest point since early spring June 17-July 18, following a slight uptick reported during the preceding one-month span of June 10-July 11. The monthly snapshots, released on a weekly basis by the Texas Workforce Commission, have generally shown continued decreases in local filings since a peak from March 18-April 18. The first increase in filings over a one-month period since then among the seven ZIP codes within Community Impact Newspaper's The Woodlands coverage area, a 1.46% rise, was reported last week for June 10-July 11.


For the latest period, running from June 17-July 18, filings dropped once again by 2.32% to a total of 2,537. ZIP code 77386, which has the highest local population, had the most claims with 722, while all other ZIP codes had below 400 claims.

Filings over the same two most recent periods in Montgomery County held relatively steady, dropping by just two. The 1,456 claims filed by Montgomery County residents during the week ending July 18 represents the second-lowest weekly filing total this year since a peak during the week ending April 4. The continued trend of declining unemployment insurance filings through the latest reporting period ending July 18 comes just before weekly federal unemployment benefits of $600 per week concluded. Those payments established through March's federal coronavirus relief package ended July 25, although two other emergency unemployment measures related to the pandemic are set to run through late December, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Updated July 23, 3:23 p.m.

Unemployment insurance claim filings in The Woodlands increased slightly from June 10-July 11, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. It was the first time the number of local claims rose during a new one-month period since peaking March 18-April 18. Despite the small increase, the number of claims submitted over the most recently reported period from June into July remained below 2,700 for the third straight month-long span. A nearly 3% decrease in claims reported between May 27-June 27 and June 3-July 4 as claims fell below 2,600 was followed by the nearly 1.5% increase reported from June 10-July 11 when 2,634 claims were filed.

Among the seven ZIP codes within Community Impact Newspaper's The Woodlands coverage area, only two—77380 and 77381—experienced an increase in claims filed over that time while the remainder decreased or held steady.

A countywide increase in claim filings was also tracked over the workforce commission's two most recent one-month reporting periods. The number of unemployment insurance claims filed in Montgomery County grew by around 2% from May 27-June 27 to June 3-July 4, and just under 2% from that period to June 10-July 11. Weekly claims throughout the county also increased slightly from late June to early July. After 1,517 claims were reported during the week ending June 27, 1,911 and 1,730 claims were recorded during the weeks ending July 4 and July 11, respectively. The county peaked this year at nearly 6,000 claims filed during the week ending April 4.

Updated July 10 1:56 p.m.

The number of The Woodlands-area and Montgomery County residents filing for unemployment insurance fell again from May 27-June 27, the tenth straight monthly period with a decline in filings since a peak March 18-April 18, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

The workforce commission has released weekly reports covering claims filed throughout the state over successive one-month periods since earlier this spring, after unemployment insurance claims spiked in March and April. Each of the seven ZIP codes within Community Impact Newspaper's The Woodlands coverage area have seen fewer claims filed over each monthly span since reaching a high of more than 9,400 total filings from mid-March to mid-April.

During the latest reporting period of May 27-June 27, 2,675 unemployment insurance claims were filed with the commission by area residents. That total represents an 8.64% drop from the 2,928 filings reported in the area May 20-June 20 and a more than 70% drop from the peak filing period from March to April. For the second straight week, the number of reported monthly filings in the six ZIP codes aside from 77386—which has the highest local population—were below 400. A total of 795 filings were reported in ZIP code 77386 from May 27-June 27.

In Montgomery County overall, the 7,247 claims filed May 27-June 27 represented a 5.02% drop from the number of claims filed in the most recent reporting period and a more than 67% drop from the peak filing period earlier this spring. The number of claims filed countywide during the week ending June 20, 1,538, increased slightly over the 1,345 claims filed during the previous week ending June 13 and represents a more than 530% increase over the number of claims filed during the same week in 2019.

Updated July 1 5:47 p.m.

A trend of falling unemployment insurance claims over successive one-month periods through the coronavirus outbreak continued through mid-June, according to the latest available data from the Texas Workforce Commission.

The number of claims filed in the seven ZIP codes within Community Impact Newspaper's The Woodlands coverage area has fallen over each one-month period after peaking from March 18-April 18. The workforce commission updates its information for those periods weekly.

Claim filings reached a low since the commission began releasing data March 11-April 11 during the latest reporting period of May 20-June 20. In that time, 2,928 unemployment insurance claims were filed throughout The Woodlands area representing a 69% decrease from the peak filing period.' The same trend has played out in Montgomery County as a whole, with the 7,630 claims filed countywide during the latest period of May 20-June 20 representing a nearly 66% decline from the March to April peak. The 1,345 claims filed through the week ending June 13 was also the lowest weekly amount since early March, when less than 300 claims were filed weekly. That total still represents a more than 530% increase over the number of claims filed during the week ending June 13, 2019, according to workforce commission data.

Updated June 19 5:11 p.m.

The number of unemployment insurance claims filed in the seven ZIP codes within Community Impact Newspaper's The Woodlands coverage area fell 18% from April 29-May 30 to May 6-June 6, the two most recent one-month periods tracked by the Texas Workforce Commission. Claim filings have fallen over each successive one-month period this spring since peaking March 18-April 18. From May 6-June 6, 3,607 residents of the seven The Woodlands-area ZIP codes filed unemployment insurance claims. Claims filed by ZIP code tracked closely with each zone's population; ZIP code 77386, which has the highest local population, saw just over 1,000 claims filed while ZIP code 77384, the least populated in the area, saw 335 claims filed. Between 412 and 504 claims were recorded in each of the other five local ZIP codes.

Once again, Montgomery County's claim filings fell from the workforce commission's previous reporting period to May 6-June 6, and dropped below 10,000 monthly claims for the first time since early March. Claim filings in the county were up more than 450% during the week ending June 6 between 2019 and 2020. More than 320 claims were filed during that week last year while more than 1,800 claims were filed that week this year.

Updated June 12 1:28 p.m.

Unemployment insurance claim filings continued to fall from late April through May throughout The Woodlands area and Montgomery County since peaking earlier this spring, based on the latest month-long snapshot of claims provided by the Texas Workforce Commission.

The data, covering April 29-May 30, shows the lowest number of claims filed in the area since early March. Unemployment insurance claims in the area reached their high this spring between March 18-April 18. From April 29-May 30, 4,401 people in The Woodlands area filed for unemployment insurance, according to the workforce commission. ZIP code 77386, which has the highest estimated population among the seven ZIP codes within Community Impact Newspaper's The Woodlands coverage area, also saw the most claims filed over the latest period with 1,252. ZIP code 77384, which has the lowest estimated population in the area, recorded the fewest number of claims with 387. Between 480 and 600 claims were filed in each of the remaining five local ZIP codes.

Montgomery County overall has experienced a similar trend of declining claims since filings peaked from mid-March to mid-April. Over the latest period of April 29-May 30, 10,978 claims were filed by residents countywide. That figure includes 1,820 claims filed during the week ending May 30, the lowest weekly total recorded since claims first spiked during the week ending March 21. The 1,820 claims are nearly nine times as many than the 206 claims filed over the week ending May 30, 2019.

Updated June 4 5:37 p.m.

The Woodlands area's unemployment insurance claim filings have continued to drop this spring after peaking from mid-March to mid-April, according to the Texas Workforce Commission's most recent month-long data on claims filed.

The workforce commission's weekly releases of figures cover claims filed over successive one-month periods since early March. The most recent, covering the span of April 22-May 23, shows the lowest total of claims across the seven ZIP codes within Community Impact Newspaper's coverage area since claims peaked from March 18-April 18.

From April 22-May 23, 4,735 area residents filed for unemployment insurance, according to the TWC. That total represents a decrease of more than 12% from the claims filed April 15-May 16 and a nearly 50% drop over the 9,445 claims filed March 18-April 18. Across Montgomery County, claims have dropped at a similar pace over the TWC's one-month reporting intervals. The number of claims filed over the April 22-May 23 period—11,922—was a nearly 13% drop over the previous period's 13,692 claims filed and a more than 46% drop since March 18-April 18. The five industries with the most claims filed countywide remain the same since the previous reporting period, and include full and limited-service restaurants, oil and gas support activities and field machinery and equipment, and passenger air transportation. The number of claims filed countywide has continued to slide over each reporting period, although the current state of the workforce remains well behind last year's numbers. The 2,044 Montgomery County unemployment insurance claims filed through the week ending May 23, 2020 are over 900% more than the 202 claims filed during the same week in 2019, according to the workforce commission.

Updated May 29 1:08 p.m.

The number of unemployment insurance claims filed in The Woodlands area this spring continues to gradually decrease over time, according to the latest one-month snapshot of claims filed from April 15-May 16.

The data comes from weekly updates compiled by the Texas Workforce Commission showing the number of claims filed over successive monthly periods. Since peaking during the span of March 18-April 18, the number of unemployment insurance claims filed by residents in seven The Woodlands-area ZIP codes within Community Impact Newspaper's local coverage area has continued to drop through the latest update covering April 15-May 16.

In that time, 5,407 area residents filed for unemployment insurance, according to the TWC. That figure is a nearly 14% drop over the claims filed during the previous one-month period of April 8-May 9, and a nearly 43% drop over the claims filed during the peak period of March 18-April 18. A similar trend has been recorded in Montgomery County overall, with the 13,692 unemployment insurance claims filed April 15-May 16 representing a more than 12% drop over the previous period of April 8-May 9 and a nearly 39% drop from March 18-April 18. The county's top industries with unemployment claims filed include full-service restaurants, oil and gas support operations, passenger air transportation, oil and gas field machinery and equipment, and limited-service restaurants. Despite the apparent decreases, weekly data covering Montgomery County shows that the number of claims filed this spring remains hundreds of percentage points higher than last year's claims over the same time. According to TWC information covering the week ending May 16, the 2,194 unemployment insurance claims filed in the county are around 1,080% more than the number of claims filed during the same week last year. Overall, 1,733% more claims have been filed year-over-year from the week ending March 28 through the week ending May 16 in Montgomery County.

Updated May 21 11:51 a.m.

The number of unemployment insurance claims filed across seven ZIP codes in Community Impact Newspaper’s The Woodlands coverage area has decreased over successive one-month periods this spring, after peaking from March 18-April 18.

From April 8-May 9, 6,281 area residents filed for unemployment insurance, according to the most recent available data from the Texas Workforce Commission. That figure represents around 5.22% of the total workforce across the seven ZIP codes, based on the U.S. Census Bureau's 2018 five-year estimates for population and workforce participation rate.

The April 8-May 9 period saw 20% fewer claims over the previous reporting period of April 1-May 2, and a 33% decrease in claims filed from the peak March 18-April 18 period. Here are the number of unemployment insurance claims filed from April 8-May 9 throughout seven The Woodlands-area ZIP codes compared with each ZIP code’s estimated workforce.


  • 77380: 814 UI claimants from 15,064 total workforce (5.4%)



  • 77381: 722 UI claimants from 17,543 total workforce (4.12%)



  • 77382: 639 UI claimants from 18,362 total workforce (3.48%)



  • 77384: 557 UI claimants from 9,229 total workforce (6.04%)



  • 77385: 798 UI claimants from 13,868 total workforce (5.75%)



  • 77386: 1,840 UI claimants from 28,899 total workforce (6.37%)



  • 77389 (Harris County): 911 UI claimants from 17,269 total workforce (5.28%)



  • Total: 6,281 UI claimants from 120,234 total workforce (5.22%)


Montgomery County overall has seen a similar trend in unemployment insurance claims filed over recent one-month periods. From April 8-May 9, 15,592 claims were filed in the county while 22,397 were filed from March 18-April 18. The five industries with the most claims in the count include full-service restaurants, oil and gas support operations, oil and gas field machinery and equipment, elementary and secondary schools, and offices of physicians—excluding mental health. While the number of claims appears to be decreasing, the county's total weekly claim counts remain far higher than figures reported last year. During the week of May 9, 2019, 210 claims were filed countywide while more than 2,600 claims were filed during the week of May 9, 2020. From the weeks of March 28 through May 9, 1,495 unemployment claims were filed in Montgomery County in 2019 while 28,623 claims were filed in 2020—a more than 1,800% increase year-over-year.

Updated May 11 5:35 p.m.

More than 7% of the total workforce in the seven ZIP codes within Community Impact Newspaper’s The Woodlands coverage area filed for unemployment over a recent one-month period, according to information from the Texas Workforce Commission.

Between March 25-April 25, 8,845 unemployment insurance claims were filed by The Woodlands-area residents. That figure represents a similar total reported by the workforce commission over a previous one-month span—from March 18-April 18—when 9,445 claims were reported in The Woodlands area.

Of the residents who filed claims between March 25-April 25, 6,704 were eligible to receive benefits while 2,141 were not. Fifty-five percent of the area’s claimants were women and 45% were men.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2018 five-year estimates for population and workforce participation rate, ZIP code 77386 has the largest estimated population and workforce in the area as well as the most claims filed over the one-month span with 2,492. ZIP code 77384, which has the smallest estimated population and workforce, saw 876 claims filed.

Here are the number of unemployment insurance claims filed from March 25-April 25 throughout seven The Woodlands-area ZIP codes compared with each ZIP code’s workforce.

  • 77380: 1,168 UI claimants from 15,064 total workforce (7.75%)

  • 77381: 973 UI claimants from 17,543 total workforce (5.55%)

  • 77382: 939 UI claimants from 18,362 total workforce (5.11%)

  • 77384: 876 UI claimants from 9,229 total workforce (9.49%)

  • 77385: 1,162 UI claimants from 13,868 total workforce (8.38%)

  • 77386: 2,492 UI claimants from 28,899 total workforce (8.62%)

  • 77389 (Harris County): 1,235 UI claimants from 17,269 total workforce (7.15%)

  • Total: 8,845 UI claimants from 120,234 total workforce (7.36%)


Across all of Montgomery County, 21,199 unemployment insurance claims were filed between March 25-April 25. That figure represents around 7.72% of the county’s total workforce, based on census data.

Separate county-level workforce commission data covering a similar period of time from 2019 and 2020 shows that Montgomery County experienced a more than 2,000% rise in unemployment insurance claims filed year-over-year. During the weeks of March 28 through April 25 in 2019, 1,060 unemployment insurance claims were filed by Montgomery County residents. Over that same five-week period in 2020, 22,767 claims were filed in the county.

Posted May 1 6:17 p.m.

More than 9,000 residents who live within the seven ZIP codes that make up Community Impact Newspaper’s The Woodlands coverage area filed for unemployment insurance between March 18-April 18, according to data from the Texas Workforce Commission. An interactive mapping tool released by the commission in late April provides further detail on Texas unemployment claims in several geographic categories.

According to the commission’s data, 9,445 unemployment insurance claimants live within The Woodlands area, which accounts for 3.74% of the 252,516 population within local ZIP codes. Men filed 4,178 of the local claims and women filed 5,267. In the area, 7,349 claimants were monetarily eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits while 2,096 claimants were not eligible.

ZIP code 77386 had the most claimants in The Woodlands area and the highest percentage of claimants compared to its population, with its 2,640 residents filing for benefits representing 4.82% of the area’s population. Meanwhile, ZIP code 77384 had the fewest claimants in the area with 971, while ZIP code 77382 had the lowest percentage of claimants compared with its population at 2.39%.

Overall, Montgomery County had 22,397 total unemployment insurance claimants accounting for around 3.67% of the county’s population of 610,513, according to the commission. In 2019, the county saw 1,212 claims filed over the similar period of March 14 to April 18.

Harris County, which includes ZIP code 77389 and the Village of Creekside Park, had 203,744 total unemployment insurance claimants in the same time period, which accounts for roughly 4.32% of the county's total population of 4.71 million. In 2019, the county saw 14,688 claims filed between March 14 and April 18.

Here are the number of unemployment insurance claimants for The Woodlands-area ZIP codes and population estimates per the commission’s data available as of April 27. The commission's data is based on the U.S. Census Bureau's one-year population estimates for 2018.


  • 77380: 1,317 UI claimants, or 4.49% of the 29,302 population



  • 77381: 1,033 UI claimants, or 2.8% of the 36,900 population



  • 77382: 993 UI claimants, or 2.39% of the 41,623 population



  • 77384: 971 UI claimants, or 4.07% of the 23,867 population



  • 77385: 1,219 UI claimants, or 4.60% of the 26,485 population



  • 77386: 2,640 UI claimants, or 4.82% of the 54,744 population



  • 77389: 1,272 UI claimants, or 3.21% of the 39,595 population.


The workforce commission’s unemployment insurance dashboard and interactive map may be viewed here.
By Ben Thompson
Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2019 as a reporter for The Woodlands area and began working as Austin's City Hall reporter in April 2021.


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