Thursday, August 18, 2022

Denton County unemployment: 51k claims in 7 weeks

The Texas Workforce Commission plans to reinstate work search requirements once businesses open at 50% capacity, two lawmakers confirmed. Photo credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

Several thousands of Denton County residents are still filing for unemployment benefits each week, according to new unofficial data from the Texas Workforce Commission.

More than 51,000 Denton County residents have submitted unemployment claims since mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic began severely affecting daily life locally. In the week ending May 2, the latest information from the TWC, 5,163 unemployment claims were filed.

Here are the numbers of weekly unemployment claims by Denton County residents since March 1, just before the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders and business closures began affecting daily life locally:

  • March 1-7: 572
  • March 8-14: 659
  • March 15-21: 5,657
  • March 22-28: 9,520
  • March 29 – April 4: 10,969
  • April 5-11: 8,235
  • April 12-18: 6,703
  • April 19-25: 4,806
  • April 26 – May 2: 5,163

During the same time of year, the weekly average was around 330.

According to the TWC, in late 2019, Denton County had an estimated total workforce of about 500,000 people and the unemployment rate was just 2.7%.

Even as the economy begins to slowly reopen in phases, the current unemployment numbers are expected to continue to rise. Nationwide and in Texas, people have reported long wait times and difficulty in getting their phone calls answered to process their unemployment claims. The TWC has recommended designated call times, split up by area code, to better spread out the call volume.

If you have had trouble getting through, don’t worry about losing out on funding. Coronavirus-related claims are eligible to be backdated.

For more information about how to file for unemployment, click here.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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