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Losing unemployment benefits? Here’s what you can do now

KVUE rounded up resources for those who are out of work and may soon be out of benefits.

AUSTIN, Texas — More than a million people will be impacted when Texas stops receiving unemployment assistance under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), effective June 26.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is for people who went through regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), exhausted the Extended Benefits (EB) program and are still unemployed. It’s a way to collect unemployment through the week ending Sept. 4, 2021.

These programs were created with the CARES Act and extended this year under ARPA. It requires the governor’s approval to come to those unemployed.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that Texas will no longer receive any federal pandemic-related unemployment money.

"The governor has announced that on June 26, 2021, Texas will stop participating in ARPA programs, including Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation Program (MEUC). TWC and our Workforce Solutions partners continue to offer services to assist individuals in finding employment and their training needs. We will be providing additional information to claimants as we transition away from these programs," a Texas Workforce Commission spokesperson said.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) gave those receiving benefits an extra $300. 

Losing that will hit more than a million people in Texas. TWC’s website shows 1.02 million people received a benefit in the last 10 days.

"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state," Gov. Abbott said in a press release Monday. "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."

Here’s what you can do right now:

Go to your Workforce Solutions office. Central Texas has two Workforce Development Boards, Capital Area and Rural Capital Area.  

The State job board, WorkInTexas.com, shows Rural Capital Area has more than seven applicants per job available.

Here are some steps to narrow down jobs specifically by education level.

  1. Go to WorkInTexas.com
  2. Click on "Employment and Wage Data" at the bottom
  3. Then click on "Area Profile”
  4. Then choose your “Area Type” for a range specific to your area
  5. Click “View Full Report” 
  6. Scroll down about halfway to find “Education Level of Jobs and Candidates”

The City of Austin, Travis County and Workforce Solutions Capital Area formed a program called Re:WorkNOW. It has more than 250 programs like computer programming, nursing, business and trade certificates.

RELATED: You can get paid to train for a new career. Here's how.

It’s part of the Master Community Workforce Plan.

"Participating training providers have restructured key training offerings into a safer virtual or a hybrid setting with support from Workforce Solutions Capital Area. Courses can take up to 12 weeks, are aligned with industry expectations, and will result in better jobs at better wages," Workforce Solutions Capital Area shows on its website.

Throughout the next few months, Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area will hold virtual job fairs.

RELATED: Texas will pay for you to get job training

"For job seekers having trouble finding work and for employers looking for great candidates, we recommend they both utilize Workforce Solution Centers and use WorkInTexas.com along with MyTXCareer.com," a TWC spokesperson said.

TWC also sent KVUE a list of its recommended resources:

  • Workforce Solutions Centers: TWC’s Workforce Solutions partners have over 180 offices around the state and help Texans find work. They offer free services such as access to thousands of job postings, job search resources, training programs and help with exploring career options, resumé and application preparation, career development and more. Find your local office here.
  • MyTXCareer.com and WorkinTexas.com: MyTXCareer.com provides new users an easy streamlined way to register for WorkinTexas.com. WorkinTexas.com is a comprehensive online job search resource and matching system developed and maintained by the TWC. WorkInTexas.com provides recruiting assistance to Texas employers of all types and sizes and job search assistance to anyone seeking work in Texas.
  • Skills Enhancement Initiative: The TWC has partnered with Metrix Learning to help Texans residents brush up on skills to prepare for better employment opportunities. The Metrix online learning platform provides Texans free online job readiness courses. Completion and passage of Metrix learning courses count as work search activities for the TWC.
  • Virtual and in-person job fairs: Workforce development boards across Texas are sponsoring job fairs virtually and in-person to help connect job seekers with employment opportunities. Find a list of upcoming hiring events here.
  • Child care: TWC’s child care services program subsidizes child care for low-income families, promoting long-term self-sufficiency by enabling parents to work or attend workforce training or education activities. The child care program also educates parents about the availability of quality child care, which enhances children’s early learning.

WATCH: Texas opting out of extra unemployment benefits


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