Texas unemployment up 860% over last week

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The Texas Tribune posted an article showing the drastic increase in Texas unemployment claims over the last week. Nationwide, the week ending March 21 was the worst in employment history with nearly 3.3 million individuals filing new unemployment claims. The statistic shattered the previous record holding date in 1982 of 695,000 claims. In Texas, the Texas Tribune reported:

The number of Texans filing for unemployment relief last week jumped an eye-popping 860% over the previous week, surpassing the number of people who filed weekly during the Great Recession that lasted from late 2007 to mid 2009.

Two weeks ago, 16,176 Texans filed for new unemployment benefits, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But just one week later — after leaders shut down businesses across the state to slow spread of the new coronavirus — that number jumped up to 155,657 out-of-work people filing for unemployment relief.

That's a 215% more than the worst recorded week during the Great Recession in Texas, when almost 50,000 people filed in a week.

Last year, about 13,600 Texans filed for new unemployment benefits per week.

“The unique situation that we’re presented with, with regard to COVID-19, is different than anything anybody in the state has dealt with, with regard to the sheer magnitude of the problem as well as the pervasive nature of the problem and the number of individuals it’s affecting and families it’s affecting," said Ed Serna, the executive director of the Texas Workforce Commission, during a Facebook Live Q&A Wednesday.

Nationally, nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment relief last week, shattering the previous 1982 record and surging 3 million from the earlier week's seasonally adjusted figure.

Layoffs and furloughs have continued to roll in across industries like hospitality and retail in recent weeks as local and state shelter-in-place orders have come down, banning inessential in-person business, and domestic and international travel have been discouraged. Even some newspapers have slashed staff after companies have pulled advertising dollars.

This information was originally posted by the Texas Tribune on March 26 at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/03/26/texas-unemployment-claims-jump-800-week/