x
Breaking News
More () »

VERIFY: No, the unemployment rate will not be impacted if you keep requesting benefits but are no longer qualified

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics excludes self-employed workers and anyone who has run out of benefits.

AUSTIN, Texas —

Question: 

“Will the unemployment rate be higher if those out of work and no longer qualified for benefits file claims away?”

Sources:

  • Ed Serna, executive director with the Texas Workforce Commission.

  • U.S. Department of Labor

Result:

False: The unemployment rate is not impacted by people filing claims even if they’re not qualified or have run out of benefits

Context:

Texas had more people file for unemployment recently than any other state in the country.

The U.S. Department of Labor released unemployment numbers on Thursday for benefit week ending July 10.

“The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending July 10 were in Texas (+10,091), New York (+8,190), Pennsylvania (+4,319), Tennessee (+3,061), and Missouri (+1,793), while the largest decreases were in Georgia (-5,286), Rhode Island (-4,807), Puerto Rico (-3,934), Kentucky (-3,771) and Maryland (-2,497), ” the release shows.

The State reported the biggest job loss was in the manufacturing industry.

State records show mass layoffs mostly stretched from Harris County to Dallas and Tarrant County with “Fusion Logistics Inc.” laying off 303 people across the state.

For some workers, like gig-workers, the pandemic unemployment benefits ended in June.

That program ending will not have an impact on the unemployment rate, according to TWC and DOL.

“The unemployment numbers that are reported by the Department of Labor, that all the states report to the Department of Labor on, they are based on a lot of factors, not just the unemployment benefits being paid,” Serna said.

The Department of Labor counts unemployment two ways.

  1. National – using the “Current Population Survey”

  2. Local/State – using CPS, Employment Statistics Program,  and the State’s unemployment insurance system

The State UI Claim data used counts only those actually getting regular unemployment benefits.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows it excludes “several important groups” including “self-employed workers” and “anyone who has run out of benefits.”

We asked Serna if people should apply anyway.

“If you don't think that you're going to be getting anything or if you're already working, definitely don't. If you're working part-time, you probably should because you may be eligible for some benefits. If you were only eligible because you were a gig worker and because of the federal program, you probably shouldn't,” Serna said.