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Unemployment claims decreased for U.S. but rose for Texas last week

With the unemployment claims continuing, hold times and callback times may be delayed.

AUSTIN, Texas —

Unemployment claims rose last week in Texas.

The U.S. Department of Labor released information showing 93,895 people filed initial claims for the week ending June 13. It’s up 4,219 from the week prior but still down from the weeks ending in April and May.

Records showed 1,325,008 people are currently receiving unemployment as of June 6.

With the claims, a lot of people are still having trouble getting through the Texas' unemployment phone lines.

RELATED: Texas unemployment benefits will soon require work search proof

Texas Workforce Commission said problems created with the surge in unemployment led to people not getting through. When they added additional call centers, people were able to reach TWC. However, the time on hold increased.

“For the week of 03/29/2020 – 04/04/2020, the average speed of answer (ASA) was 14:44 (mm:ss). For the week of 06/07/2020 – 06/13/2020 the ASA was 62:21. As TWC increased telephone lines, it allowed more customers through to wait, which increased the wait-times,” TWC spokesperson Cisco Gamez said.

Credit: TEGNA

TWC said call wait-times vary throughout the day.

“Response: For the week of 06/07/2020 – 06/13/2020,

  • 7 to 10:59 a.m. - 54:52 (mm:ss)
  • 11 a.m. to 2:29 p.m. - 68:20
  • 3 to 7 p.m. - 62:22

The first interval is lower from the calls that are answered when we first open with a zero wait-time,” Gamez said.

RELATED: 

Millions of jobs posted nationwide: Here's a look at Texas

Texas unemployment benefits extended another 13 weeks

Q&A: Answers from the TWC chairman and public representative

Calls are handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

If someone shows up to the TWC building at 101 E. 15th St. in Austin, a security guard will meet them in the front.

A person can leave callback information with TWC, but state workers are not discussing claims in person.

Credit: TEGNA

The information presented shows “the current response time is about three weeks.” 

“People filling out the callback form at TWC should get a response from our customer relations department within 24 to 48 hours. Customer service will submit their information to unemployment insurance services. The amount of time it takes unemployment insurance services to respond will vary,” Gamez said.

Emails to the TWC customer relations team and requests for callback through the online “chat bot” have varying response times as well, he said.

“Assistance is also slowed down when people make multiple requests about the same issue,” Gamez said.

TWC has 3,589 staff members taking calls and conducting outbound calls. 

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