There were 23,100 first-time claims for unemployment benefits in Texas last week, according to the latest data from the Labor Department. Nearly 3.9 million initial jobless claims have been filed since mid-March.
This marks a 38% drop in weekly unemployment claims, and the insured unemployment rate has dropped below 3%.
While unemployment claims have dropped in Texas and nationally, the GAO has recently called into question the weekly totals of first-time filings due to backlogs and “other data issues.”
As Texas is seeing record high daily case counts, the pressure on Congress to pass a relief bill continues to rise. On Wednesday, Democratic leadership in the House and Senate as well as President-elect Joe Biden backed a $908B relief package from Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Susan Collins, R-Maine.
According to NPR, the legislation includes “$300 in weekly federal unemployment benefits for 18 weeks, $288 billion in fresh funding for the Paycheck Protection small business loan program and $16 billion for testing and vaccine distribution.”
What you need to know if you are out of work
If you are newly unemployed, it is important that you apply for benefits as soon as possible because eligibility begins the week you apply. You will not be paid benefits for weeks before you apply.
How to apply
Apply for benefits in one of two ways:
- Apply online at Unemployment Benefit Services by selecting “Apply for Benefits.” Information about applying online is available in the Applying for Unemployment Benefits Tutorial.
- Call a tele-center at 800-939-6631 and speak to a customer service representative.
Information you will need to apply
- Your last employer’s business name, address and phone number.
- The first and last dates (month, day and year) you worked for your last employer. If you worked for your last employer on more than one occasion, provide the most recent employment dates.
- Number of hours worked and pay rate if you worked the week you apply for benefits (Sunday through Saturday).
- Information about the normal wage for the job you are seeking.
- Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen).
More RA News Unemployment Content
- November 20, 2020: Texas unemployment rate falls to 6.9% in October, a sign of slow and uneven economic recovery
- November 12, 2020: Unemployment Continues Decline as Worries Grow About More Shutdowns
- November 5, 2020: Texas Pandemic Unemployment Claims Closing in on 4 Million
- October 29, 2020: Texas Sees Lowest Number of Unemployment Claims Since Pandemic Began
- October 16, 2020: State Adds Jobs, but Unemployment Rate Still Rises in September
- October 15, 2020: Texas Unemployment Reverses Course
- October 13, 2020: Unemployed Texans Will Again Be Required to Look for Work
- October 8, 2020: Texas Unemployment Claims Top 3.6M; More Federal Dollars in Use
- September 24, 2020: There’s Good and Bad News in Texas’ Improving Unemployment Situation
- September 23, 2020: Thousands of Unemployed Texans Owe Millions Because of Overpayments
- September 17, 2020: Thousands More Texans Unemployed as Congress is Arguing About Benefits
- September 10, 2020: Trump’s Extra $300 in Weekly Unemployment Aid Runs Out as More Texans Lose Jobs
- September 3, 2020: State Pays Unemployed Texans Three Weeks of Extra $300
- August 27, 2020: Texas is One of Only 3 States to Begin Paying Extra Unemployment Benefits
- August 20, 2020: Ways Unemployed Texans Can Get Help
- August 13, 2020: Unemployment Claims Remain High, but Number of First-Time Filers Falls
- August 11, 2020: Trump Unemployment Plan Would Cost Texas Billions
- August 6, 2020: Unemployment is Still High, but Texas Sees Significant Drop
- July 30, 2020: Texas Unemployment Tops 3 Million
- July 28, 2020: How to Cope Without That Extra $600 in Unemployment Benefits
- July 23, 2020: Texas Unemployment Claims Near 3 Million as Extra Benefits Ending
- July 16, 2020: Texas Unemployment Claims Drop a Little, Remain Above 100,000
- July 9, 2020: Texas Unemployment Claims Rise for Second Week in a Row
- July 2, 2020: Texas Unemployment Claims Trend Reverses Course
- June 30, 2020: TWC Will Delay Work Search Requirement For Unemployed Texans
- June 26, 2020: Texans Struggle to Find Work in the Rio Grande Valley, Where Unemployment Has Nearly Tripled
- June 18, 2020: Texas Unemployment Ticks Up Again As State Reinstates Job Search Requirements
- June 16, 2020: Unemployed Texans Have to Start Looking for Work Again
- June 11, 2020: Unemployment Claims Falling, but Still at Record Highs
- June 4, 2020: Texas Unemployment Claims Drop as Extended Benefits Announced
- May 28, 2020: First-time Texas Unemployment Claims Drop Again, but Are Still High
- May 27,2020: 2020 College Graduates Face Bleak Texas Job Market
- May 21, 2020: Two Million Texans Are Out of Work
- May 14, 2020: More Texans File for Jobless Aid
- May 7, 2020: Texas Unemployment Hits 1.8 Million as State Plans to Tighten Eligibility
- April 30, 2020: State Updates Rules for Unemployment
- April 28, 2020: Pandemic Hits Texas Cities’ Finances Hard
- April 27, 2020: Abbott to Let Stay-Home Order Expire, Ease Some Restrictions Starting May 1
- April 23, 2020: 1.3 Million Texans Are Unemployed
- April 21, 2020: Abbott Says Texans Want to Return to Work
- April 17, 2020: Texas Is Running Out of Money to Pay Unemployment Benefits
- April 13, 2020: Is It Too Soon to Reopen Texas for Business?
- April 10, 2020: Governor Preparing to Reopen Texas
- April 9, 2020: Texas Unemployment Claims Continue to Shatter Records
- April 8, 2020: High Demand Causes Rocky Start for Paycheck Protection Program
- April 2, 2020: Jobless Claims in Texas Soar
- April 1, 2020: Rent Is Due. But Thousands of Texans Have Lost Their Jobs Because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
- April 1, 2020: Help is Available to Texas Restaurants, Employees
- March 30, 2020: When Will I Get My Stimulus Check?
- March 26, 2020: COVID-19 Causes Historic Spike in Unemployment Claims
- March 23, 2020: As Texas Economy Suffers, Unemployment Soars