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Pandemic unemployment ends, Workforce Solutions Texoma says incentives may help

Workforce Solutions Texoma says they hope the end of pandemic unemployment benefits will turn...
Workforce Solutions Texoma says they hope the end of pandemic unemployment benefits will turn things around.(KXII)
Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 10:00 PM CDT
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DENISON, Texas (KXII) - Now that pandemic unemployment benefits have ended in Texas and Oklahoma, local businesses are desperate to hire more employees. Workforce Solutions Texoma says they hope the end of pandemic unemployment benefits will turn things around.

“Most of our employers are just begging for help right now,” said Jamie Bates, Executive Director of Workforce Solutions Texoma.

Pandemic unemployment benefits ended in Texas on June 26th and Oklahoma on June 27th. Regular unemployment benefits continue in both states.

“We have thousands of job postings because people are needing more people to work. And a lot of our companies are trying to expand. Most of them have called back everyone that would come back so now they’re trying to find new people and it’s really been difficult for the last few months,” said Bates.

Bates said Grayson County’s current unemployment rate is 4.7. It sat at 2.9 pre-COVID.

“Usually when we get to about 4 percent unemployment, we’d say most people have a job that want a job,” said Bates.

Oklahoma’s current state unemployment rate is at 4.0, Texas at 6.5.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a time when we were so desperate to hire people and our employment rate was this high. Most of the time if you’re really desperate to hire people you’ve got a very low unemployment rate like a 2.9 or a 2.0,” said Bates.

Many local businesses have seen staffing issues for months causing them to alter store hours and limit capacity.

Many local businesses have seen staffing issues for months causing them to alter store hours...
Many local businesses have seen staffing issues for months causing them to alter store hours and limit capacity.(KXII)

Oklahoma began applications Monday for their back-to-work incentive, a one-time $1,200 payment for the first 20,000 Oklahomans to leave unemployment for full-time or 2 part-time jobs working 32 hours or more a week.

Some Texas employers are doing their own incentives.

“Various employers are offering bonuses you know there’s some that are offering a sign-on bonus and you get a portion of it for every so many weeks that you’re there. Some of the manufacturers are offering attendance bonuses,” said Bates.

Jobs of all types and skill level are available in Texas and Oklahoma.

Workforce Solutions Texoma serves Grayson, Fannin and Cooke counties.

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