Businesses across Texas and the nation have been forced to curtail or cease operations in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, throwing millions out of work and prompting a record increase in unemployment claims that is straining the safety net for workers. Nearly 2 million people in Texas filed for unemployment insurance benefits from March 14 through May 9, triple the number of claims filed in all of 2019.
Comptroller Glenn Hegar says, “It’s far too early to say how long these conditions will last — and how deep the trough will go.” He said, “Many economic measures are only beginning to reflect the crisis. It will be months before we can chart its full dimensions. Fortunately, our state’s fiscal position is strong enough to support vital programs for the remainder of this year, and our state’s “Rainy Day Fund” remains healthy. But the legislative session that begins in January 2021 will face significant and perhaps unprecedented challenges.”
Getting Texans back to work will no doubt be one of the bigger challenges.