How do State Extended Benefits Impact your Unemployment?

This flow chart represents the current unemployment process. If you have already applied for benefits you may get UI and PUA. if your benefits are exhausted you may receive PEUC for 13 weeks and state extended benefits for an additional 13 weeks.

Monday, June 1, the Department of Labor notified the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) that the state triggered State Extended Benefits (EB). This program provides federal reimbursement to the state for up to an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits. The extension takes effect on May 31, 2020. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), passed as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), previously extended unemployment benefits for 13 weeks starting March 29, 2020. As a result, the first week Texans may be eligible for the additional EB is the week ending in July 4, 2020.

Statutes for EB date back to 1971 and are triggered during different periods of high unemployment. EB are available to workers who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment and are calculated per state. Texas’ unemployment rate is currently 12.8 percent, exceeding the five percent threshold to trigger the extension. Determination of “on” and “off” indicators can be found in TUCA 209.022.

Under traditional unemployment insurance, claimants can receive up to 26 weeks of benefits. The CARES Act provides PEUC benefits up to 13 weeks and provides an additional $600 per week to claimants until July 25, 2020. The CARES Act also expands the pool of claimants eligible to receive unemployment benefits to include self-employed, contract/gig workers, and those that were previously ineligible.
Since the week ending in March 13, 2020 TWC has taken 3 million initial claims and paid out $9.7 billion in unemployment benefits. For more information about unemployment benefits paid or to view an interactive map of claims, visit TWC’s UI by the Numbers page.

To apply for unemployment benefits or to request payment visit ui.texasworkforce.org. All claimants should keep their mailing and email addresses current in the unemployment benefits services system to prevent delays in communication. No action is required by the customer, if qualified TWC will automatically enroll the customer in EB.  The customer should simply continue filing their payment request timely if they are still unemployed.

How does the CARES Act Affect Your Benefits?

Already Approved for Benefits?
Sit tight. You may be eligible for potential Unemployment Insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits for up to 39 weeks AND you are possibly eligible for an additional $600/wk until July 31, 2020.

Are you Self-Employed, a Contract Worker or Someone Without Significant Wages?
CARES provides assistance for Non-Traditional Applicants. Apply for benefits at ui.texasworkforce.org.

Already Applied for Benefits or Exhausted Your Unemployment Insurance? We will contact you. You do not need to follow up with us. And once you apply you will not need to take any additional steps to apply for PUA or other additional benefits. Once you submit your application we will automatically review if for any additional benefits you may be eligible for.

This flow chart represents the options for individuals in search of assistance. If you’ve already been approved for benefits you do not need to do anything. If you are eligible or newly eligible, apply online. If you are a non-traditional applicant, apply online and then wait for a notification about pandemic unemployment assistance. If you have exhausted your benefits, wait for a notification via mail or email, you may then be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits. The additional $600 in benefits allies to all who qualify, no additional action is needed.

Texas’ Unemployment Rate in November Remains at Historic Low 3.7%

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment was 3.7 percent in November, remaining at the same historic 42-year low it was in October. The Texas economy added 14,000 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in November. Annual employment growth for Texas was 3.0 percent in November, marking 103 consecutive months of annual growth.

“The addition of 365,400 jobs over the year and 14,000 jobs in November demonstrates the consistency with which employers in our state create job opportunities for the highly skilled Texas workforce,” said TWC Chair Ruth R. Hughs. “The Texas economy offers employers access to a competitive workforce and provides job seekers with career options in a variety of growing Texas industries. The numbers are a testament to the resilience of our Texas employers and the diversity of our Texas economy.”

The Manufacturing Industry recorded the largest private-industry employment gain over the month with 9,100 jobs added and led all industries in growth.

In Texas’ private Service Providing sector, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 8,900 positions in November. Also within this sector, Professional and Business Services added 1,800 followed by Information, which added 1,000 positions.

November Texas Labor Data

“Employment demand continues to be high in well-paying industries such as Manufacturing, Construction, and Mining and Logging,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “I encourage career exploration in these and other industries that are growing in Texas. TWC’s labor market information tools and products are designed to inform, prepare and advance our Texas workforce. Visit a Workforce Solutions Office to find out more about the latest employment opportunities available.”

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.1 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA which had the second lowest with a rate of 2.5 percent. The Odessa MSA recorded the third lowest rate of 2.6 percent.

“We have much to be proud of in Texas as we enter the holidays celebrating another month of record-low unemployment and sustained job growth,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Robert D. Thomas. “While we reflect thankfully on the contributions from employers and individuals who made this tremendous record of success possible, we remain steadfastly committed to fostering continued job creation through economic development strategies and collaborative efforts to provide opportunities for all Texans to enjoy self-sufficiency and prosperity.”

Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit tracer2.com.

To see the full November Texas Labor Market release, please visit the TWC website.

Follow us on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter for more updates about Texas Labor Market Data.

Texas’ Unemployment Rate Hits Historic Low 3.7%

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in October, down from 3.8 percent in September 2018, reaching its lowest level since the state unemployment data series began in January 1976. The Texas economy added 32,300 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in October. Annual employment growth for Texas was 3.1 percent in October, marking 102 consecutive months of annual growth.

“The Texas economy continues to remain strong by adding 32,300 jobs in the month of October. These numbers highlight the strategic job creation efforts of our Texas employers, and provides our world-class workforce with career options in a variety of growing industries,” said TWC Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “Texas is a state that always welcomes new employers and also supports our homegrown businesses, offering them the tools they need to succeed and build on our continued success as a global economic leader.”

October’s annual growth in the state’s Goods Producing industries was strong at 6.6 percent. Over the month, Mining and Logging added 4,300 jobs, followed by the Construction industry with 1,500 positions.

October Texas Labor Market Industries

In Texas’ Service Providing sector, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 8,900 positions over the month, and led all industries in job growth for October. Also within this sector, Leisure and Hospitality added 8,700 jobs, followed by Education and Health Services which added 5,100.

“Texas’ labor force is made up of hard-working individuals who are eager to obtain the skills that our employers need,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “The jobs are out there, and I encourage all job seekers to contact their local Workforce Solutions office for assistance with job training and placement.”

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.1 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA and the Odessa MSA which had the second lowest with a rate of 2.5 percent. The Austin-Round Rock, College Station- Bryan and Lubbock MSAs recorded the third lowest rate of 2.7 percent for October.

“Texas’ dynamic marketplace has set the standard as the Best State for Business over 14 consecutive years according to CEOs,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Robert D. Thomas. “That track record of accomplishment recognizes the perseverance, resilience and hard work of our workforce, employers and collaborative partners across the state.”

Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit tracer2.com.

To see the full October Texas Labor Market release, please visit the TWC website.

Follow us on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter for more updates about Texas Labor Market Data.

Texas’ Unemployment Rate Falls to New Record Low 3.8%

TWC September 2018 Texas Labor Market DataTexas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, down from 3.9 percent in August 2018 and setting a new record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in four decades. The Texas economy added 15,600 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in September. Annual employment growth for Texas was 3.3 percent in September, marking 27 consecutive months of annual growth.

“Texas employers continue to contribute to our state’s success with private-sector employers adding 16,700 jobs in September and accounting for an impressive 402,500 jobs over the year,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chair Ruth Ruggero Hughs. “Texas’ continued addition of jobs over a 27-month period demonstrates the competitive advantage and market opportunities available to our Texas employers and world-class workforce.”

September’s annual growth in the state’s Goods Producing industries was strong at 6.9 percent. Over the month, Construction added 3,000 jobs, followed by the Manufacturing industry with 2,800 positions, while Mining and Logging employment expanded by 2,600 positions.

In Texas’ Service Providing sector, Financial Activities added 5,800 positions over the month, and led all industries in job growth for September. Also within this sector, Professional and Business Services added 2,500 jobs, followed by Trade, Transportation, and Utilities which added 2,100.

“Texas’ labor force is made up of hard-working individuals who are eager to obtain the skills that our employers need,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “I encourage all job seekers to contact their local Workforce Solutions office for assistance with job training and placement.”

View the Texas Labor Market Highlights for September 2018 from TWC Labor Commissioner Julian Alvarez:

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.2 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA and the Odessa MSA which had the second lowest with a rate of 2.7 percent. The Austin-Round Rock and College Station- Bryan MSAs recorded the third lowest rate of 2.9 percent for September.

“Texas continues to flourish thanks to the outstanding efforts and talents of individuals and employers in communities around the state,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Robert D. Thomas.  “TWC will continue to promote innovative workforce and economic development strategies in collaboration with our education partners, local leaders, and industry to preserve our competitive edge in the best place to work in the world.”

Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit tracer2.com.

To see the full September Texas Labor Market release, please visit the TWC website.

Follow us on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter for more updates about Texas Labor Market Data.

Texas Economy Adds 23,500 Positions in July

The Texas economy added 23,500 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in July, which marked 25 consecutive months of employment growth. Over the year, Texas added 377,100 jobs for an annual employment growth rate of 3.1 percent.

TWC July Texas Labor Data showing 23,500 jobs added and 4.0 percent unemployment

“Private-sector employers continue to boost the Texas economy adding another 25,900 jobs in July and 372,700 jobs over the year, said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chair Ruth Ruggero Hughs. “Thanks to the innovation and expansion by employers in a wide range of industries, Texans continue to be offered more opportunities to demonstrate their first-class skills and start a career in the nation’s #1 state for business.”

July’s annual growth in the state’s Goods Producing industries was strong at 6.2 percent. Over the month, Construction led all major industries, adding 10,500 jobs.

In Texas’ Service Providing sector, Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 7,500 positions over the month.  Also within this sector, Education and Health Services added 6,400 jobs, followed by Leisure and Hospitality with a gain of 5,700 positions.

TWC July Texas Labor Data jobs growth by industries: 7,500 in trade, transportation and utilities, 6,400 in education and health services and 5,700 in leisure and hospitality.

“The Texas labor force continues to provide employers with the skills and expertise needed to keep the Texas economy growing,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “TWC is continually committed to developing innovative workforce programs and supporting Texas businesses with a skilled talent pipeline that is unmatched throughout the nation.”

View the July 2018 Texas Labor Market Highlights from TWC Labor Commissioner Julian Alvarez:

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a not seasonally adjusted rate of 2.2 percent, followed by the Amarillo and Odessa MSAs with a rate of 2.9 percent, each. The Austin-Round Rock MSA recorded the fourth lowest rate of 3.1 percent for July.

Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit tracer2.com.

To see the full July Texas Labor Market release, please visit the TWC website.

Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for more updates about Texas Labor Market Data.

Texas Economy Adds 27,200 Positions in June

The Texas economy added 27,200 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in June, which marked 24 consecutive months of employment growth. Over the year, Texas added 359,500 jobs for an annual employment growth rate of 2.9 percent.

Total Nonag Annual Employment Growth (Seasonally Adjusted)

“Recognition of Texas as the premier place to do business in the country is reinforced by employers adding another 27,200 jobs in June and an impressive 359,500 jobs over the year,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Broad-based growth across our industries remains solid with ten of eleven industries adding jobs in the dynamic and prolific job creating Texas economy.”

June’s annual growth in the state’s Goods Producing industries was strong at 5.8 percent. Over the month, Mining and Logging added 4,900 jobs, followed by the Construction industry with 2,900 positions, while Manufacturing employment expanded by 2,600 positions.

In Texas’ Service Providing sector, Professional and Business added 7,300 positions over the month, and led all industries in job growth for June.  Also within this sector, Education and Health Services added 6,000 jobs, followed by Leisure and Hospitality with a gain of 3,500 positions.

Texas-U.S. CES Seasonally Adjusted Comparison Sheet Annual Growth - June 2018

“Private-sector employment remained strong with Texas employers adding 351,700 jobs over the year and 26,400 jobs added in June,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employer Ruth Ruggero Hughs. “TWC is committed to developing innovative workforce programs and supporting Texas businesses with a skilled talent pipeline that is unmatched throughout the nation.”

View the Texas Labor Market highlights from Commissioner Ruth R. Hughs:

Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.4 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA, which had the second lowest with a rate of 3.1 percent. The Austin-Round Rock, and Odessa MSAs recorded the third lowest rate of 3.2 percent for June.

“All Goods Producing industries showed positive employment growth in Texas, including Construction, which expanded by 2,900 jobs in June,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “The Texas labor force has continued to provide employers with the skills and expertise needed to keep the Texas economy growing.”

Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit tracer2.com.

Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for more updates about Texas Labor Market Data.

Helpful Info about Unemployment Benefits

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of needing to file for unemployment insurance benefits, you know it can be a little overwhelming. Job loss is one of the six most stressful life events (along with, in no particular order, moving, death, marriage, divorce, and serious personal injury), and we know trying to navigate those process-deep waters can be frustrating.

To help with that, TWC’s Unemployment Insurance division has been working on some tutorials and videos for individuals in just that situation, to hopefully make understanding the process a little easier.

Following are some resources that provide detail about unemployment benefits in general (are you qualified? how do you get them? what do you have to do to keep them? etc.), determining how much you might get, and information about how you get in and stay connected with the unemployment system online.

If you still can’t find what you need, just call TWC at 1-800-939-6631, M-F 7a-6p, and speak with a customer service rep. And remember, there is also a statewide network of workforce professionals ready to assist you with whatever job-related questions or help you might need.

And once you’ve found that new job, let them know you’re working. It just takes a minute and can be done online.

We know unemployment is no one’s goal, but if/when it happens, we hope this will help.

Job Growth

USA Today recently posted an article about the pace of job growth across the country, generally concluding that, as we’ve said before, it’s all over the place. The article is interesting but even better (more useful) is the chart they created a few years back and have been updating every month.

This chart shows national and by state, metro area, and industry, where job growth has been and is taking place, and where it’s not. This is obviously useful information to help inform job seeker decisions, particularly if you’re currently unemployed or under employed. And the really cool part is the graphic they provide that connects actual job growth for the past 4 years and projected job growth for the next 4 years. In short, if you’re trying to figure out what occupational fields are coming, going, or might be good to try to get into, this picture is worth 1000 words. The chart can be found here.

And one final factoid; Forbes recently published an article about US cities with the 20 lowest unemployment rates, and two of them were in Texas. Midland at #7 and Odessa at #18. Of course it’s easy to point to the energy industry as responsible for much of that positive story, same with South Texas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, etc. But as our former Chairman and JFK before him were fond to point out, a rising tide lifts all boats. And of the 200 US cities with the lowest unemployment rates, 21 are in Texas.

To find jobs in these cities using WorkInTexas.com, use the Job Posting Browse-Location search option.

Next week we’ll look at 10 career fields projected to be the hottest in 2020 and how that compares to what we have in WorkInTexas.com today.

Staying Relevant, Being Informed

A recent study by the Center for PostSecondary and Economic Success found, not surprisingly, that the unemployment disproportionately affects lower-educated and minority racial and ethnic groups. You could probably add a variety of other groups to that list as well, particularly Veterans and individuals with disabilities. But who is not really the point, rather it’s the mere fact that unemployment has been so high for so long that studies like this actually mean something. And, in addition to the graphs on adults, at the bottom of the page there is also a link to a couple of charts on youth unemployment. View the study here.

But, that’s also why we have a public workforce system, to understand these types of realities and work to address them on behalf of those more disparately impacted. And it’s doing just that. More than ever before, we tout data analysis and research as the way to understand our customer base and more effectively engage with them. A 55-year-old former stay-at-home mom will look for work differently than a 25-year-old male high school dropout. And our ability to recognize and understand those differences, and then customize our services to meet their needs is one of the ways we remain a relevant and helpful public service.

The other side of the coin is working with our customers to empower them to be better, more informed job seekers by understanding the realities of the job market. There are many ways to do this, one of which is being familiar with the area in which you’re looking. Much of this type of information can be found here, on our County Narrative Profiles. These are written summaries that provide detailed information about geography, population, employment, income, education, housing,  healthcare, crime rates, etc., for every individual county in Texas. Helpful stuff if you’re thinking of moving, starting a business, or reentering the workforce after being recently separate from a job.