The U.S. has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.
The unemployment rate is 4.6% among the country’s 16 million people, and Texas ranks 27th in the nation.
But, for many, the numbers aren’t so dire.
“I would say we’re not at the top of the list, but we’re certainly not where we should be,” says Paul Biernacki, the president of the Texas Federation of Labor.
Biernakis group has been pushing for better hiring practices in the state, which has one the highest rates of joblessness in the country.
In the state of Texas, there are roughly 1.7 million job openings.
So far this year, the state has added nearly 100,000 jobs, he says.
“The number of job openings has gone up significantly, but the amount of work is the same,” he says, noting that Texas ranks in the bottom fifth of the U.K. and Germany.
Bierslacki has also pushed for better pay, which he says is not always the case.
“There are a lot of people in this state who are living paycheck to paycheck, but they have a lot more options than those who are working at the factory,” he explains.
Bijan Kaur, the executive director of the American Federation of Teachers, agrees with Biernicki’s point about the lack of a high paying job.
“We are a very unequal state,” she says.
“We’re not getting the economic development that we should.”
Biernickis group says there are many examples of good hiring practices that help to alleviate some of the stress of a jobless life, such as hiring people from other states or people with disabilities.
“That’s a good thing to do.
I’m not against that, but it needs to be better,” Biernikis group adds.
“I think it’s important to make sure we’re hiring people that are not just the unemployed.”
Biersnackis group hopes to increase the number of jobs that Texas offers, but he warns that it needs a little more than that to make up for the high unemployment rate.
“A lot of our students aren’t graduating with enough money to cover the tuition, or they don’t have enough income to cover their rent,” he points out.