Are COVID-19 unemployment claims down? TWC data hints at a decrease

Investigations

A person seeking employment, left, gets assistance from a staff member at the Nebraska Heartland Workforce Solutions office in Omaha, Neb., Thursday, May 14, 2020. The number of Nebraskans filing new unemployment claims appears to be stabilizing but is still far higher than it was before the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released Thursday. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Texas continues to reopen, unemployment claims appear to be trending downward, according to Texas Workforce Commission data.

Since May 2, initial unemployment claims have dropped from 243,935 to 134,065 claims through the week ending May 16.

However, continued claims are up slightly from 1,133,324 to 1,300,576 in that same time period.

“My understanding is that there are not as many people filing for unemployment insurance week to week, while more people that have initially filed for unemployment insurance are becoming eligible and requesting payments,” TWC spokesman Cisco Gamez said.

Overall, more than 2.9 million Texans have filed for unemployment and more than $9.2 billion has been paid out in benefits.

Here’s a specific look at unemployment claims, by the numbers:

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