HOUSTON – The Texas Workforce Commission is continuing to see an unprecedented number of unemployment claims.
Edward Serna, the TWC executive director, said the number of claims in March surpassed Hurricane Harvey's 60,000 unemployment applications, which at the time was the highest number of unemployment claims the state had seen.
Texans have filed 1.9 million claims to date processed, and the commission has paid out $2.6 billion, according to the TWC.
"We are not done yet. This is incredible in the history of the state," Serna said.
Serna said the commission has turned to the federal government for help with its unemployment fund.
"We already requested Title 12 loans from the federal government," he said. "These are interest-free loans from the federal government, and we will replenish money into the trust fund. I want to be able to assure you and your viewers everybody will receive the full benefits. Nobody is going to get shorted."
Under the CARE ACT, those that are self-employed, doing contract work, and non-profits are now eligible for unemployment benefits.
"The Care ACT signed brings that group individuals on board, and so far, we've proceeded claims 85,000," Serna said.
Serna said despite the significant job loss, there is no shortage of employment opportunities.
Workforce Solutions offices across the state are holding virtual job fairs and working on matching employers with job seekers.
“Distribution centers are hiring, grocery stores, hospitals are hiring, those are the big major employers,” Serna said.