Gov. Abbott ends federal pandemic related unemployment benefits

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Gov. Greg Abbott holds a press conference (Source: Salvador Castro, ValleyCentral.com)

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — On Monday, Governor Greg Abbott announced to the U.S. Department of Labor that Texas will no longer receive federal unemployment compensation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the reasons Abbott decided to end the benefits is to help unemployed Texans to connect with job openings, “rather than paying unemployment benefits to remain off the employment rolls,” according to a press release.

The press release states that another reason for the action is because of the high levels of fraudulent unemployment claims being filed.

“TWC estimates that nearly 18 percent of all claims for unemployment benefits during the pandemic are confirmed or suspected to be fraudulent,” stated the press release.

The termination of the benefits will be effective June 26, 2021.

“The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state,” said Governor Abbott. “According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment benefits. That assessment does not include the voluminous jobs that typically are not listed, like construction and restaurant jobs. In fact, there are nearly 60 percent more jobs open (and listed) in Texas today than there was in February 2020, the month before the Pandemic hit Texas.”

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