The coronavirus pandemic has steered the economy into the path of a recession. In Texas, the state’s unemployment rate remains high, and nearly 3 million people have filed for unemployment relief since mid-March. The week ending July 18, a total of 86,821 Texans filed initial applications for unemployment relief. Texas’ sales tax revenues — the largest source of funding for the state budget — have also dropped and are expected to create a shortfall that officials will have to fill.
The number of Texas families that have applied for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has increased, demand has spiked at food banks across the state and rent programs have run dry in various cities. The state’s outdated and understaffed unemployment insurance office has left countless Texans confused and without unemployment benefits.
Even though businesses across a wide swath of industries are allowed to reopen, some bars and restaurants have voluntarily closed again after employees contracted the new coronavirus. Economists say weakened oil prices, high unemployment and the ongoing public health crisis will slow Texas’ economic recovery.
Here’s how many Texans are filing for unemployment relief
The week ending July 18, a total of 86,821 Texans filed initial applications for unemployment relief. Since mid-March, nearly 3 million Texans have applied for unemployment insurance, more than in all of 2019. The Texas Tribune is tracking the number of out-of-work Texans filing for unemployment relief with the Texas Workforce Commission each week.