CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As of Saturday, pandemic-related unemployment benefits are set to end in the state of Texas.
During the pandemic, added benefits gave people who normally don’t qualify for unemployment like self-employed or independent contractors and also extended state benefits. It also provided an additional $300 weekly to people on unemployment already.
According to the Texas Workforce Commission, around 500,000 Texans will be affected by the change. However, there are 850,000 jobs posted in the state.
Locally, Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend works with unemployed workers, as well as businesses looking to hire workers.
“Our workforce is ready to help these people with their job search, refine their resumes," said Xena Mercado, communications manager for Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend. "We offer career exploration as well, and it’s all free."
According to Workforce Solutions, there are currently more than 8,000 jobs available in all industries across the Coastal Bend. Mercado said that the ending of extra unemployment benefits could help fill jobs for businesses that are currently short-staffed.
“We’re optimistic that people will be returning back to work, and there are many jobs that are available," she said. "Many businesses are short-staffed, so we’ve been working closely with local employers, trying to get local job seekers connected with them."