The extended unemployment benefits established by the CARES Act, an extra $600 per week funded by the federal government on top of state benefits, will run out on July 31 causing new concerns for Texans out of work and on unemployment.
Democrats did pass legislation to extend the $600-per-week boost through January, but the Senate Republican majority is vowing not to continue it.
Some argue the financial boost is encouraging Americans to remain jobless, many making more money in unemployment benefits than they did when they actually had a job.
The latest news from around North Texas.
But, there is little clarity on what ought to replace it and the pandemic continues.
Cisco Gamez with the Texas Workforce Commission says there are jobs available in Texas.
"Unemployment benefits aren't intended to be a long-term replacement for work. There are jobs available out there. Texas is hiring. As of this morning, there are over 575,000 jobs available right now at workintexas.com. If people are interested, they can check those out, and if they are looking for employment, I would also recommend they reach out to their local workforce solutions office," said Gamez.
The extra weekly payment of $600 is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $1.8 trillion package Congress passed to help weather the economic storm brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. In just two months, 22 million jobs were gone.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has joined congressional Republicans in opposing continuing the extra $600 a week.
"He wants to encourage people to get back to work, and at the same time he's mentioned a payroll tax holiday, a big one for our workers, that helps those who are on the lowest end of the payroll, would help the Americans who need it the most," said Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary.
3.4 million Texans have applied for unemployment since March. The Texas Workforce Commission offers a number of resources for those needing help finding employment: