Denton Texas employment stalled in July as stimulus benefits for many Americans came to an end. While Denton and Denton County showed slight increases in employment from June levels, North Texas as a whole actually lost jobs during the month. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA region saw unadjusted nonfarm employment fall by 12,900 jobs from June levels. Employment for the North Texas region was down by 150,500 jobs compared to July 2019.

The latest numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission in July are a stark reminder that the real economy has not fully recovered, even if the stock market is hitting new all-time highs. DFW wasn’t an outlier. The Texas economy lost 12,300 jobs in July as the Covid recovery stalled in the wake of fading federal stimulus. Congress has yet to approve a second round of unemployment benefits for displaced workers, but Wall Street is partying like it’s 1999. The stock of Tesla has gone parabolic in recent weeks, and Apple actually hit a market capitalization of $2.1 trillion.

I wasn’t kidding when I said the North Texas housing market had detached from the real economy in July. That’s precisely what happened as the Fed poured $trillions in poorly designed, virtually unregulated liquidity into the U.S. financial system and asset markets. America’s golden age of fraud is working out really well for the titans of finance and tech, but not so much for average working Americans.

The official unemployment rate for the Dallas-Fort Worth region is still double what we saw last year. Things are even tougher in the Houston area with continued fallout in the oil and gas sector. With an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent, Austin is faring better than the state average, but a far cry from the 2.9 percent unemployment rate it enjoyed last year.

The stagnation of the economy and employment sector in Denton is not a unique event in the pandemic. It’s a global trend facilitated by parasitic economic systems and particularly misguided fiscal and monetary policies. As former Greek finance minister Yanis Varofaukis put it, the pandemic has sped up the process of a postcapitalist world.

“what we are living through now is not your typical capitalist disregard for human needs, the standard tendency of the capitalist system to be motivated solely by the needs of profit-maximisation or, as we lefties say, capital accumulation. No, capitalism is now in a new, strange phase: Socialism for the very, very few (courtesy of central banks and governments catering to a tiny oligarchy) and stringent austerity, coupled with cruel competition in an environment of industrial, and technologically advanced, feudalism for almost everyone else.”

Earlier this week the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales for July rose a spectacular 24.7 percent in July while the median price of a U.S. home rose above $300,000 for the first time ever. This contrasts with Thursday’s news that 1.1 million Americans filed for unemployment during the previous week. It was the 21st week this year with weekly unemployment claims of a million or more.

Regardless of what happens in November, there are going to be a lot of hard choices to make in the coming months and years. The Fed’s balance sheet is back above $7 trillion, and there are apparently no real talks of serious reform from either party. As millions of Americans face a real risk of eviction in the coming months, America’s richest citizens are piling on absurd amounts of paper wealth as speculation in the stock market reaches absurd levels. At the same time, speculation in the housing market is helping to drive local home prices to new all-time highs as well.

It’s almost as if nothing matters…until it does.

Federal Reserve Balance Sheet August 19 2020

And a reminder of what happened to home prices in Denton last month…

Denton TX Average Home Prices July 2020