Thousands of Denton County residents are still filing for unemployment benefits each week, according to new unofficial data from the Texas Workforce Commission.
Nearly 3,900 Denton County residents submitted unemployment claims in the week of May 3-9. It’s the lowest weekly number since early March, but still much higher than the usual number. About 55,000 have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus pandemic changed daily life in Denton County, and local and state orders forced some businesses to close or reduce their services offered.
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
- May 3-9: 3,877
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.