Back to Work: Texas Governor Abbott ENDS COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits

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Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has announced the end of COVID-19 unemployment benefits. The change will become effective June 26.

The state has decided to opt out of federal unemployment compensation connected to the pandemic, including the $300 weekly unemployment supplement, according to a news release from the governor.

“The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state,” Abbott said in the May 17 release. “According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment benefits.”

“That assessment does not include the voluminous jobs that typically are not listed, like construction and restaurant jobs,” Abbott added. “In fact, there are nearly 60 percent more jobs open (and listed) in Texas today than there was in February 2020, the month before the pandemic hit Texas.”

The statement added the change is needed to decrease the growing number of fraudulent unemployment claims in the state. Like other places across the nation, paying people not to work has led to more people ending their search for work.

The Biden administration has failed to recognize that extending long-term unemployment with payments as high as working a job has led to many of the nation’s employment shortages. Nationwide, restaurants, retail stores and other businesses are struggling to obtain and keep workers who have chosen to receive unemployment despite their ability to work.

Under the CARES Act, up to two thirds of unemployed workers were eligible to receive more in benefits that they earned in their jobs, according to an econofact.org report. While this incentive may have served a needed purpose when most businesses were shut down, that time has passed.

For example, in Texas more jobs are available than prior to the pandemic. Some may not like their employment choices, but they do exist. Many have had to adjust to different work due to economic changes. It’s better to work a different job than no job at all.

The opportunities are certainly there for those willing to make the effort. Businesses focused on delivery grew during the pandemic. Amazon, pizza delivery and a host of other bring-it-to-you outlets fared extremely well.

Now that the majority of states have reopened for business, other types of work can rebound, even under the Biden administration’s weaker economy. The April jobs report was more than 700,000 jobs below the expected one million new jobs number. The way to change it is to give people an incentive to work.

Decreasing dependence on unemployment is one powerful way to do it. When the government stops the handouts, people tend to respond. Yes, unemployment is sometimes needed, but no longer at pandemic levels.

Time for Americans to do what we do best—respond to challenges through hard work and innovation. It’s not about Washington coming to the rescue. It’s about the people who step up and fight to improve their situation in life.


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One response to “Back to Work: Texas Governor Abbott ENDS COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits”

  1. So happy for this Governor Greg Abbott. Thank You for all your hard work.
    God Bless You and Your Family

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