In Texas, federal unemployment benefits that were established as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are set to expire this week. Individuals who are currently depending on additional federal unemployment benefits amid the health crisis will shortly witness their unemployment benefits shrink dramatically.
PUA weekly payments will be terminated
On June 26, the supplementary $300 weekly payments and unemployment compensation for gig workers provided by the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program will come to an end. This will have a significant impact on approximately 500,000 people.
The PUA program, according to Cisco Gamez, a public relations expert for the Texas Workforce Commission, is for people who are not normally eligible for conventional state assistance. So, whether people who are self-employed or work as an independent consultant, or if they have exhausted all other perks, they will qualify for PUA benefits, Gamez added.
For gig workers and the economy, the elimination of entitlements is a “double-edged sword.”
Dr. Rob Tennant, interim department chair for Accounting, Finance, and Economics at Texas A&M Central Texas, believes that for gig workers, it may create some financial stress in the short term because they have had a consistent income source for a certain amount of time.
Economists say that the negative impact of the benefits ceasing is expected to continue for some time. According to Dr. Tennant, there’s a high likelihood that most of them will make more money doing gig labor than they did while they were unemployed.
Despite the fact that half a million people are losing government benefits, Texas still has plenty of employment openings. For job opportunities, the commission suggests looking at MyTXCareer.com and WorkInTexas.com.
According to Gamez, there are about 800-thousand employment openings right now, therefore there are opportunities available for people.
Although the benefits are terminating this week, the Texas Workforce Commission advises that people may proceed to request payment for all weeks for that they are qualified through June 26.