Texas to end pandemic-related unemployment benefits

By Megan Wehring

Effective June 26, the state of Texas will no longer participate in pandemic-related unemployment compensation. This will include the $300 weekly unemployment supplement through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.

“The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state,” Gov. Greg Abbott said. “According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment benefits. That assessment does not include the voluminous jobs that typically are not listed, like construction and restaurant jobs.”

Nearly 45% of posted jobs offer wages greater than $15.50 per hour, according to the TWC. About 76% pay more than $11.50 per hour and only 2% of posted jobs pay around minimum wage.

TWC estimates that nearly 18% of all claims for unemployment benefits during the pandemic are confirmed or suspected to be fraudulent, which totals more than 800,000 claims, which equates to about $10.4 billion, if all claims had been paid.

Federal law requires the effective date of this change to be at least 30 days after notification is provided to the Secretary of Labor. As a result, the effective date will be Saturday, June 26.

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About Author

Megan Wehring graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Wehring has reported for the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch for a year, covering all things local. This includes city council meetings, town events, education and human interest stories. Previously, Wehring worked at KTSW FM-89.9 (Texas State University's official radio station) for two consecutive years. She was a news reporter, assistant news director and monthly segment producer during her time at KTSW. Wehring is passionate about the local reporter aspect. With a heart for storytelling, she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are most important to the community.

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