In the streets of Texas, it seems like the pandemic has ended. People are returning from home office, kids are back in school, masks are not mandatory anymore and Federal Unemployment Benefits ended for Texans last Saturday.
The easing of all pandemic health measures means the end of economic relief benefits for Texans. Inflation is back and rents are increasing, the Public Utility Commission just lifted the restriction that forbids them from shutting the power down for people, they can give a warning ten days before disconnecting someone.
However, as normality strikes down Texas, hundreds of thousands of Texans are not ready for it. Today, the state has more than 400,000 fewer jobs than before the pandemic and the unemployment rate is above 6%.
Evictions will return at the end of July, and all those Texans that are jobless because of the pandemic will suddenly be left unable to pay for rent, electricity and will be forced out of their homes or without power.
Thanks to Gov. Abbott, Texans will have no additional federal unemployment aid starting June 26. He claimed that “The number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment benefits”.
Even if Mr. Abbott claims there are enough jobs, the reality is not the same for everyone. There are no skilled jobs available. There are positions available in fast-food restaurants, but for specialized doctors, lawyers, or similar, there are not enough jobs in rural Texas.
Hard months are coming for the people of Texas. Summer has arrived. If Mr. Abbott’s perception of the economy is wrong and he eliminated unemployment, then plenty of people will end up suffering because of his mistake.