The decrease comes as Gov. Greg Abbott in May said Texas will opt out of federal jobless assistance to encourage people to go back to work. Jobless Texans will lose access to all additional federal pandemic unemployment aid — including a $300-per-week supplemental benefit — on June 26.
Hundreds of thousands of Texans were receiving federal pandemic assistance as of the week ending May 1 — for many, one month isn’t enough time to apply for and find a job. But economists are optimistic that increased coronavirus vaccinations will help stabilize and improve the state’s economic recovery.
Throughout the pandemic, the state’s outdated and understaffed unemployment insurance office left countless Texans struggling to receive unemployment benefits as they navigated the Texas Workforce Commission’s confusing processes.
Business shutdowns and limits battered Texas companies, which can now largely operate at full capacity. But businesses must choose whether customers are required to wear masks.
During the legislative session, Texas lawmakers approved a $248 billion two-year state budget for 2022-23 that is headed to the governor’s desk. The plan takes into account federal funding for coronavirus relief. Earlier in May, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar increased the projection for state funds available for the 2022-2023 budget by $3 billion — to a total of $116 billion — eliminating the budget deficit from the pandemic.