DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There are about 130,000 North Texans currently receiving unemployment benefits. Those will stop for many of these residents, beginning Wednesday.
According to the Texas Workforce Commission, as many as 85,000 people statewide will be immediately affected by The U.S. Congress’ decision to not extend benefits again for those who have passed 99 weeks worth of extensions. People will now start dropping off the unemployment rolls at an estimated rate of 3,000 people a week statewide.
Laurie Bouillion Larrea is the president of the Dallas County Local Workforce Development Board. She said some people have been on unemployment for two years. Larrea said people are now facing some tough choices about what to do next.
Fort Worth resident Rajani Sood, 55, is one of those individuals. The college graduate was laid off by Nokia two years ago, and has not been able to find a job.
“Two years I’m at home, but still I cannot enjoy any day off, because every time I have attention in my mind whether I’ll get a job, or how I’m going to survive,” she said.
Sood has held temporary jobs and applies for work daily, she said.
David Setzer, the Executive Director of Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas, said he expects to see the number of people using their centers rise over the next few weeks as residents transition from looking for the perfect job, to looking for any job.
Sood mimics this idea: Each day, she returns to a nearby Workforce Center, hoping it will be the day she finds permanent employment.
“Every day I look for a job,” she said. “Today I got a call from a temporary service that I can fax my resume to them.”
Gary Godsee is the President and CEO of United Way Metropolitan Dallas. He expects many residents to now turn to the agency and its social service line 2-1-1 for help on what to do next.
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D- Dallas) and former Rep. Chet Edwards (D – Waco) were the only North Texas representatives to vote to extend unemployment benefits. Some Republicans and fiscally conservative Democrats said they would support an extension if it didn’t add to the country’s $13.8 trillion debt.