Friday, February 23, 2024

Thousands of Denton County residents continue to file for unemployment

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

Nearly 69,000 Denton County residents have filed unemployment benefits claims with the Texas Workforce Commission from early March to mid-June, as coronavirus pandemic restrictions continue to affect daily life locally, regionally and nationally.

Denton County unemployment claims spiked from late March to mid-April, immediately after many local businesses were shut down to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While the weekly numbers of unemployment claims are going down, they are still much higher than the same weeks of last year, according to the latest numbers provided by the TWC. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases, locally and around the state, are surging, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott to order all bars to close again, and to reduce restaurant capacity from 75% to 50%.

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
  • May 10-16: 3,071
  • May 17-23: 3,077
  • May 24-30: 2,371
  • May 31 – June 6: 2,175
  • June 7-13: 1,816

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%.

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

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

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