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Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Surge In Texas Layoffs, Unemployment Claims

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An estimated 37 million domestic jobs could be lost in the U.S. due to temporary shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had infected more than 318,000 people and claimed nearly 14,000 lives worldwide as of Sunday afternoon.

At least 45 cases of COVID-19 and one death had been confirmed by the City of San Antonio's health department as of Sunday. Across Texas, at least 566 people have received presumptive positive or confirmed coronavirus tests.

The state's workforce commission has seen a surge of unemployment claim filings and numbers are expected to continue rising after Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statewide order on Thursday prohibiting eating and drinking at all restaurants and bars. 

Texas employers reported more than 31,000 layoffs from March 14-17, up from 2,289 during roughly the same time period in 2019. New unemployment claims from March 11-18 were 11 times higher than the same period a year ago.

How is the public health crisis affecting employment in San Antonio and throughout the region? How could layoffs affect the state's overall economy?

Which workers will be hit the hardest? Can "survival jobs" bridge the gap? Is your job at risk?

What's being done to ensure small businesses and workers get the support they need? What local resources are available to help jobless workers? How can you help?


"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call  833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Monday, March 23.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.