WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A recent study by WalletHub highlights a nearly 2,300% increase in unemployment claims in Texas compared to this time last year.
The Texas Workforce Commission’s previous record for calls in one day was around 60,000, but recently they shattered that record with over 3,000,000 calls in one day.
Now, they are taking extra steps to help during the rise in unemployment during the pandemic.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty,” business and outreach manager for Workforce Solutions North Texas Kendra Ball said. “None of us have dealt with a situation quite like this before, so you know just to have a listening ear and some support here we want people to know that they are not alone, that we are are here to help them.”
Now, working to provide all resources possible for those unemployed during this time. Along with taking steps to make sure their staff is equipped for the influx in calls.
“We’ve moved about 450 staff from other departments into unemployment insurance services, we emergency hired about 100 people to work in our call centers and are continuing to hire,” media and pubic relations specialist for TWC Cisco Gamez said.
Ball said they are surprisingly seeing slight increases in available jobs for the recently unemployed.
“We have also seen a spike in employers that are hiring and we’re trying to connect the two, we’re trying to connect the people who are out of work who still need that income with employers who need the help,” Ball said.
Resources like workintexas.com and ui.texasworkforce.org are seeing a increase in traffic and may be effective during this time.
“Ninty percent of our claims go through online, the only thing you’re going to need is your social security number and home address, that’s it, the process takes about seven minutes,” Gamez said. “From the time you apply and qualify you can receive, for those who are eligible, you can receive benefits in about 21 days.”
For those who have tried and already been denied, Gamez said it may not be too late.
“On April 5, we moved to a new quarter and we’re looking at a different base period which is January to December 2019, so it’s a different time, so people who have applied and were denied before April 5th may now qualify so we’re asking them to try again,” Gamez said.
For more information on either of these options, follow the links below or call the local numbers also listed.