NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Workforce Commission is reinstating its job search requirement for unemployment recipients to continue receiving benefits.
Starting July 6, Texans will have to show they’ve searched for at least three jobs per week in order to keep getting an unemployment check.
More than 2.3 million unemployment claims have been filed in Texas since mid-March.
Some North Texas businesses, especially restaurant owners, have said they’ve had difficulty in rehiring workers in part because of ‘generous unemployment benefits’.
Billy Adjmul, the owner One Love Caribbean Restaurant in Arlington, said many of his former employees have informed him they plan on staying on unemployment.
“I don’t blame them for making a choice that’s best for their family,” Adjmul said.
With the extra $600 federal pandemic unemployment benefit on top of their regular state unemployment amount, many low wage workers are actually making more on unemployment than they were working.
By reinstating the job search requirement, state officials hope to encourage more to reenter the workforce.
However, Jonathan Lewis with think tank group Every Texan said he hopes state officials reconsidered as he fears the job search requirement could have unintended consequences on the economy.
“You could have a potential mismatch of skill sets. You could have folks that are taking jobs that are of lower quality pay or benefits than they were used to so it’s really going to impact our economy’s ability to rebound,” Lewis explained.
Furloughed workers will not have to search for work if they have a firm date on when they are returning to work.
Self-employed workers will have to prove they took at least three steps to reopen their businesses in order to maintain unemployment benefits.
The latest jobs figures for May in Texas are expected to be released June 19.