More than 280,000 Texans filed unemployment claims this past week

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on the Texas economy. A new report released by the U.S. Labor Department found that 280,406 Texans filed unemployment claims since Saturday.

According to the Texas Tribune which has been tallying the frequently released claim data, at least 1.3 million Texans have gone unemployed since mid-March, when the outbreak began in earnest. 

The labor report also found that 4,427,000 have filed claims across the U.S. in the past week, bringing the total to more than 26 million since the pandemic began.

Among those claims are self-employed and contract workers. The Texas Workforce Commission said in a release on Wednesday that those workers can apply to the Unemployment Benefits Service and receive a base pay of $207 in addition to the $600 provided by the federal government’s response. 

The claim-related news comes as Gov. Greg Abbott plans the phased reopening of Texas. On Wednesday, he told WBAP in Dallas-Fort Worth that early next month, hair salons, stores, restaurants, and movie theatres would open. His comments on the radio have yet to made official policy. For now, the statewide stay-at-home order continues until next Friday.

Photo: Tony Webster/ Wikimedia Commons

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