HOUSTON – Seven million unemployed people across the country are losing their pandemic unemployment benefits on this Labor Day.
The extended 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation for workers whose state benefits ran out, as well as unemployment benefits for the self-employed, gig workers, and part-time workers are all ending.
That’s in addition to Governor Abbott ending the extra $300 a week in federal benefits in Texas in June.
It’s a tough break for many unemployed, especially those still dealing with the rampant theft of unemployment benefits.
“Because I had the whole identity theft situation, TWC sent me back 47 denied requests, I believe,” said Nathern Brown.
Brown says TWC informed him he’s one of thousands of people whose unemployment benefits were stolen through identity theft over the past year.
“It’s strange because somebody was able to use my name and social and was able to take all of what was meant for me,” said Brown.
Add to that, Brown is still looking for work, and extended unemployment benefits are now ending.
“It’s beyond stressful,” he said.
But Keith Wolf, Managing Director of Murray Resources says there’s good news for job seekers.
“I’ve been in this recruiting business for 10 years and this is the hottest job market I’ve ever seen,” said Wolf.
The Texas Workforce Commission reports that Texas added 714,800 jobs over the last year.
Wolfe says while oil and gas jobs have not really returned in Houston, others have.
“We are seeing a lot of manufacturing, technology, service businesses,” he said.
Industry experts say add to that jobs in healthcare, education, and hospitality.
Amazon announced it’s hiring 55,000 people nationwide, Walmart is hiring 20,000. But for so many jobs available, Wolf says expect that many people are applying.
“Because technology has made it so easy to apply for jobs, it is not uncommon for us to get between 500 and 1,500 applicants for a job,” said Wolf. “That’s the bad news. The good news is 90% are not qualified.”
To stand out, Wolf suggests taking free, online courses in the skills needed in your field, use key words on your resume that show that you’re qualified, and if you want to work from home, be flexible.
“What we are seeing is the hybrid set-up for most workers seems to be what they’re looking for,” said Wolf.