A growing number of people are losing work or hours on the job due directly to the growing coronavirus pandemic.
As many as 1 in 5 American households have at least one person who has either temporarily lost their job or lost hours in recent weeks.
That includes millions of Texans, which is all the more reason why the Texas Workforce Commission is encouraging anyone who is eligible to file for unemployment benefits.
“They should do it right away. They shouldn’t wait, even if they’ve been told, ‘Hey, this is just for three or four weeks,’ so they don’t feel like they are fired,” said Cisco Gamez of the Texas Workforce Commission. “They can still apply because there’s a time when they’re not making money, they’re not getting an income, and they should apply.”
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Gamez said impacted people can either apply for benefits online or in person, at any of the 100-plus Texas Workforce Commission locations around the state.
On Monday, March 23, we asked Gamez about issues with the website being down and phone lines being jammed.
"We're really sorry people are running into any issues. We are working around the clock, we are working extended hours, we are making changes to accommodate the number of people who are filing for unemployment. We want to help Texans in needs, we're committed to doing that. And we will follow up, and we'll follow through. We just ask them to be patient with us," Gamez said. "We have over a 1,000 people working in unemployment insurance benefits services, they're working around the clock, they're working late hours, long hours, over the weekend, they are following up and following through with everyone who is able to get through, leave a message or connect in. We're just asking to be patient with us. We understand your frustrations... we're all in this together, so we want to help Texans, we just ask them to be patient with us, we're here for them."
People who are looking for temporary work during this time can consider the postings on workintexas.com. As of Friday morning, there were more than 700,000 jobs posted.