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Texas Unemployment at Record High



The coronavirus pandemic has steered the economy into the path of a recession. In Texas alone, the state’s unemployment rate set a new record, and more than 2.4 million people have filed for unemployment relief since mid-March. The week ending June 6, a total of 89,736 Texans filed initial applications for unemployment relief. Texas’ sales tax revenues — the largest source of funding for the state budget — have also dropped and are expected to create a shortfall that officials will have to fill.

The number of Texas families that have applied for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has increased, demand has spiked at food banks across the state and rent programs have run dry in various cities. The state’s outdated and understaffed unemployment insurance office has left countless Texans confused and without unemployment benefits.

Cities are furloughing and laying off city employees, and officials have already ordered state agencies to begin making budget cuts.

Even though businesses across a wide swath of industries are allowed to reopen, economists say weakened oil prices, high unemployment and the ongoing public health crisis will slow Texas’ economic recovery.