WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economic recovery continued to advance at a slow pace over the past week, with signs that businesses were still rehiring workers but also that a gusher of government assistance earlier in the year may have run its course.

Shifts worked at a variety of industries increased, and the pace of weekly shift growth through September moved back to 1% after falling over the summer, according to data from time management firm UKG https://www.kronos.com/about-us/newsroom/update-us-workforce-activity. Shifts across industries were approaching 95% of the levels at the start of the year, before efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus prompted widespread business closures in the spring.

Employment in real time: https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ECONOMY/REOPENING/gjnvwxamxpw/chart.png

Estimates of retail traffic based on cellphone data moved above their March 1 level, before a state of emergency was declared, according to information from Safegraph https://www.safegraph.com/dashboard/covid19-commerce-patterns.

Estimates of national retail foot traffic from Unacast https://www.unacast.com/covid19/covid-19-retail-impact-scoreboard fell slightly when measured against levels from just before the pandemic. But the company’s analysis of 15 industries nationally showed visits were just 4% below where they were in 2019 for the week ended Sept. 26.

Retail in real time: https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ECONOMY/REOPEN/yzdvxxyzlvx/chart.png

Job openings data from Chmura http://www.chmuraecon.com/blog Economics and hiring site Indeed https://www.hiringlab.org/2020/09/30/job-postings-through-sept-25 showed companies continued adding jobs, with postings on Indeed now 17% below 2019, the smallest gap since late March.

Those slight signs of improvement in high-frequency data, however, appeared against a much more uncertain backdrop.

So far, the U.S. rebound from the coronavirus-triggered recession has kept steadily on track. The third quarter, covering the July-September period, is expected to show the largest ever annualized jump in U.S. gross domestic product, somewhat offsetting the epic collapse from March through June.

Job growth averaged more than 2.5 million per month through the late spring and summer, and new data

AUSTIN — Texas collected 6.1% less in sales tax in September than a year earlier, Comptroller Glenn Hegar said Thursday.

Retail trade was a rare bright spot, he said.

The state’s oil and gas sector, though, continued to get hammered. So did all other major sectors except retail.

A pre-pandemic bolstering of sales-tax collections on e-commerce has helped offset what would otherwise be even bigger setbacks to the state’s revenue workhorse, Hegar said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and low price of crude oil continue to weigh on the Texas economy and sales tax revenue,” he said in a written statement.

In five of six months since the pandemic struck, the state’s sales tax haul is down from 2019. A 4.3% increase in July, based on Gov. Greg Abbott’s full reopening of the economy in June, was the only exception. Otherwise the trend has been down: By 9.3% in April, 13.2% in May, 6.5% in June, 5.6% in August and 6.1% last month.

Texas’ monthly sales-tax haul has slumped again, raising questions about how the state economy is faring amid the coronavirus pandemic. Wrapping up the state fiscal year, Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Tuesday issued revenue numbers that had more down arrows than up arrows.

In July, Hegar announced that what had been expected to be a nearly $3 billion positive end balance in general-purpose revenue for this cycle instead would be at least a $4.6 billion shortfall.

Last week, in his office’s publication “Fiscal Notes,” Hegar explained why prospects for state budget writers when the Legislature meets next year could get better – or even worse.

“COVID-19 is not disappearing,” he said. “We’re going to have to learn how to strike a balance between keeping people safe and allowing the economy to slowly open up. We have to recognize the new norm.”

But “human behavior” is hard to forecast, he said.

“Even when restrictions are lifted or loosened, when will people feel safe going to the movies again? When will they feel comfortable packing into stadiums or attending conferences and conventions? It’s difficult