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Update from Workforce Solutions of West Texas

COVID-19 Update

May 11, 2020


· The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is hosting a special edition of Global Perspectives featuring Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and Dallas Fed President Robert S. Kaplan. The live webcast will be at 5:00 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, May 14 and is presented in partnership with KERA, moderated by Host and Managing Editor of KERA’s Think, Krys Boyd. Access the event on Thursday, May 14 here. You may submit questions for President Kaplan and Mr. Johnson in advance via email. The event is free and open to anyone who would like to hear from President Kaplan and Mayor Johnson, so please share with friends and colleagues who may be interested.

· Texas 2036 has launched a COVID-19 Tracking Dashboard. The dashboard is a source of information on critical health and economic data in an easy to visualize format that includes statewide and county level data. You can access the dashboard here. Texas 2036 is a non-profit established to enable Texans to make policy decisions through accessible data, long-term planning and statewide engagement. Policy areas include: education and workforce, health, infrastructure, natural resources, justice and safety and government performance. To view additional data, read articles or view episodes of Straight Talk – conversations with experts on key issues, visit

Unemployment and Economic Data

· Unemployment claims continue to rise each week on average by 1,500 per week.

· Over 4,100 employers in the region have been impacted by COVID-19 due to layoffs, reductions in hours, temporary or permanent closings.

· The Top Five Unemployment Insurance Claim Industries in the region are: 1) Full-service restaurants, 2) Support activities for oil and gas operations, 3) Drilling oil and gas wells, 4) General medical and surgical hospitals, and 5) Limited service restaurants. Information at a county level may be found on the Texas Workforce Commission UI Claimant Dashboard here.

· As shown in the chart below, UI claims peaked during the week of March 22 with a second peak during the week of April 12, reflecting filing by self-employed and contract workers.

Child Care Services

· As of today, 281 children of essential workers are enrolled in and receiving care. Effective May 12, children will be placed on a waiting list for services.

· Overall, 62 of the 151 (41%) of reporting providers in the region are closed as of May 9. Numbers remain unchanged for contracted child care providers, with 27 remaining closed as of May 9. We believe several centers will be re-opening within the next few weeks. Currently, providers may only care for children of essential workers.

If you have any questions or need additional information regarding any of these items, please feel free to contact us at You may also reach out directly to Mary Ross, Executive Director, at 325-795-4301 or via email at:

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