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San Antonio Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators

December 1, 2020

In October, the San Antonio Business-Cycle Index rebounded from its decline in September. The unemployment rate ticked down as recent job numbers improved. Local consumer spending improved in early November, while the number of small businesses open has been declining since late October. Stock prices of San Antonio-based companies rose over the five weeks ending Nov. 27.

Business-Cycle Index

The San Antonio Business-Cycle Index—a broad measure of economic activity in the metro—increased 2.0 percent in October (Chart 1). This improvement can be attributed to the recent decline in the unemployment rate and the net addition of jobs in October.

Chart 1

Labor Market

Unemployment Rate Ticks Down

The metro’s unemployment rate decreased in October to a still-elevated 6.6 percent, which is below the 6.9 percent in the state and nation (Chart 2).

Chart 2

Job Growth Mostly Positive Across Industries

Net job growth in San Antonio was positive in October and increased an annualized 5.2 percent (12,785 jobs) in the three months ending in October, with generally positive performances across sectors (Chart 3). The leisure and hospitality sector saw the strongest gains over the three-month period (20.8 percent, or 4,770 jobs), followed by manufacturing (15.3 percent, or 1,780 jobs) and “other services” (14.6 percent, or 1,200 jobs). The only sectors that posted net job losses were government (-1.2 percent, or 520 jobs) and financial activities (-1.7 percent, or 395 jobs). While job gains have been broad based since May, they have not been large enough to offset the losses in March and April. So far this year, employment has declined across all sectors, with total jobs down 8.0 percent.

Chart 3

Consumer Spending

Since early April, credit and debit card spending by Bexar County residents has trended upward, surging temporarily to prepandemic levels in early September and mid-October. As of Nov. 8, spending was down 1.0 percent relative to January 2020 in Bexar County and 4.2 percent in the state (Chart 4).

Chart 4

Small Business

Although the number of small businesses open improved in late September, the count has been trending downward since late October as COVID-19 case numbers worsened (Chart 5). As of Nov. 16, the number of small businesses open was down 42.5 percent relative to January levels in Bexar County and 32.5 percent in the state.

Chart 5

Stock Prices

Stock prices of San Antonio-based companies recovered 15.3 percent from Oct. 21 to Nov. 27, while the S&P 500 improved 5.9 percent during the same period (Chart 6). Companies in the financial, food service, energy and manufacturing industries saw their stock values appreciate, while firms in the communications sector posted mixed performances. Since the beginning of the year, the San Antonio stock price index is down 25.3 percent versus an 11.7 percent increase at the national level.

Chart 6

NOTE: Data may not match previously published numbers due to revisions.

About San Antonio Economic Indicators

Questions can be addressed to Judy Teng at San Antonio Economic Indicators is published every month on the Thursday after state and metro employment data are released.