Ever since businesses began shutting down and governments began instituting shelter orders, many Americans have been left without jobs. To date, a whopping 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment since coronavirus began to spread in the U.S.
In Texas, 745,443 people have become unemployed since mid-March. Over 300,000 of those came in the latest week with available data (March 29-April 4).
According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), whose March numbers came out today, Texas jumped to a 4.7 percent unemployment rate in March. At the conclusion of March, 664,769 Texans filed for unemployment — a 35 percent increase from February.
The projected unemployment rate for July in Texas is 15.2 percent.
Earlier in the week, Abbott — in tandem with Goldman Sachs — announced $50 million in forgivable loans that will be made available for Texas’ small businesses. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2018, about 2.6 million small businesses accounted for over 45 percent of employees in Texas.
In a press conference today, Governor Abbott said the state has paid out over $500 million to over 1.1 million unemployment claims.
He also announced the creation of a task force to make recommendations on when to open different sectors of the economy. Retail-to-go will be permitted and on April 27, further expansion of businesses allowed to reopen will be announced.
“These re-openings must occur in stages. The decision to reopen business will be based on two things: the task force’s recommendations and the data,” he concluded.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad watching and quoting Monty Python productions.