Abbott to end federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits for Texans

Governor Greg Abbott has informed the U.S. Department of Labor that Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment compensation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the $300 weekly unemployment supplement from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.

Texans will not be able to receive the $300 weekly unemployment supplement after June 26, 2021. 

"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state," said Governor Greg Abbott. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment benefits. That assessment does not include the voluminous jobs that typically are not listed, like construction and restaurant jobs. In fact, there are nearly 60 percent more jobs open (and listed) in Texas today than there was in February 2020, the month before the Pandemic hit Texas."

The Texas Association of Business (TAB) lauded Governor Abbott’s announcement that Texas will end its participation in the supplemental federal unemployment insurance payment which stacks on top of standard unemployment insurance. A recent survey conducted by the Texas Association of Business found that the $300 additional weekly federal stimulus payment was a major barrier to hiring, and 80% of respondents believe it should be eliminated. 

"Today’s announcement is a boon for businesses who are struggling to get back on their feet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic," said TAB CEO, Glenn Hamer. "By eliminating the federal supplement, employers will be able to fill their job openings and unleash the full might of the Texas economy. Under Governor Abbott’s leadership, the Lone Star State will remain the jobs engine of America and continue its dominance as the best state for business." 

On May 13, TAB, along with more than 50 business associations and chambers of commerce, sent a letter to Governor Abbott and the Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission, Bryan Daniel, asking them to consider ending Texas’s participation in this program.


A help wanted sign is displayed in the window of a Brooklyn business on Oct. 5, 2018 in New York, United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A help wanted sign is displayed in the window of a Brooklyn business on Oct. 5, 2018 in New York, United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), nearly 45 percent of posted jobs offer wages greater than $15.50 per hour. Approximately 76 percent pay more than $11.50 per hour. 

Only 2 percent of posted jobs pay around the minimum wage.

Federal law requires the effective date of this change to be at least 30 days after notification is provided to the Secretary of Labor. As a result, the effective date will be June 26, 2021.