In mid-June, the Texas Workforce Commission announced people receiving unemployment benefits would have to document their work search efforts beginning July 6, with the first reports due July 19. It is a federal law to document work search efforts to receive unemployment benefits, but the requirement had been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, TWC released a news release June 30 stating that work search requirements have been paused.
“Due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Texas, TWC has decided to pause the return of work search requirements at this time,” TWC Executive Director Ed Serna said in the release. “We will continue to monitor the situation and make further recommendations in late July.”
There are an estimated 153,011 total positive COVID-19 cases reported and 69,273 active cases in the state of Texas as of June 29, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. In light of the growing number of cases, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order June 26 that closed all of the state’s bars and restricted restaurant capacity to 50%.
Meanwhile, 2.68 million claimants have filed for unemployment between late February and June 27, according to TWC data. The volume of unemployment claims had been decreasing since early May, but data for the week ending July 4—which is not yet complete—shows an uptick in unemployment claims.
TWC received 14,900 unemployment claims in the week ending June 27 and has received 46,900 so far in the week ending July 4.