AUSTIN, Texas —
The Texas Workforce Commission expects a continued increase in unemployment claims.
It notes tighter business restrictions and a new business quarter as factors.
“There is great risk of those employees that were just brought back being sent back home to be on unemployment,” said Emily Williams Knight, CEO of Texas Restaurant Association, in a webinar on Friday, June 26
Gov. Greg Abbott scaled back business openings.
“Based on the increase in COVID-19 cases and the governor's June 26 executive order, we'll be pausing the reinstatement of the work search requirement for unemployment insurance,” said Ed Serna, executive director for Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).
More than 1.7 million Texans got an unemployment check over the past two weeks, according to the TWC website.
“We anticipate an uptick in claims as it's a quarter change,” said Clay Cole, unemployment insurance division director, TWC.
The state requires earnings from the last five quarters to determine eligibility. A new quarter started July 1.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows the latest weekly unemployment rate for Texas at around 10.5%
TWC has helped over 3.5 million Texans apply for unemployment insurance benefits. Based on 2019 numbers, that is five years of claims in just three months’ time,” said Cisco Gamez, TWC spokesperson.
The Department of Labor (DOL) jobs report released on Thursday shows most people have been out of work five to 14 weeks nationwide.
DOL also noted the unemployment rate may be higher due to “misclassification” of people.
However, jobs are on the rise.
The report shows nearly each sector of non-farm payroll added jobs last month.
“Texas is hiring,” said Gamez.
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