Texas Workforce Commission surpasses 1 million unemployment claims

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — According to both internal data and weekly data estimates from the Texas Workforce Commission, Texans applying for unemployment insurance amid COVID-19 has already surpassed 1 million claims.

The agency started publishing UI claims online this week. According to the data, from the week ending March 14 through the current week, there has been at least 920,000 claims. The data includes U.S. Department of Labor numbers, too, when that’s available.

And, that doesn’t even account for the thousands of calls TWC continues to field daily. KXAN continues to address concerns from viewers with the agency’s phone and online systems — and trouble getting through when filing for unemployment.

TWC spokesman Cisco Gamez told KXAN Friday that the agency is publishing these unofficial numbers because they want the public to have an idea of the current volume of claims.

Gamez said that since March 14, “Texas has now reached 1 million unemployment claims.”

Moreover, compared to 2019, TWC has already seen 72 weeks worth of claims in just 25 days.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told KXAN’s Amanda Dugan Thursday that in just one 24-hour period, TWC had more than 1 million calls.

“They are now catching up with the program,” Abbott said. ” I want to make clear to you all that everyone, regardless of when they apply, will still get all of their benefits.”

During his Friday afternoon briefing, Gov. Abbott said more than 363,000 unemployment claims have already been paid out, totaling around $318 million.

The TWC data also includes the number of unemployment insurance claims broken down by county, through the week ending March 28.

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