3-minute read

Good morning Austin friends and neighbors,

Quick update for you below with the passage of the stimulus package last night.


  • Austin unemployment rate now 2x pre-COVID levels despite recent job expansion (KVUE)
    • TWC reported Friday the November unemployment rate for Texas (8%) worsened, dropping below the national unemployment rate (6.4%).
    • November unemployment in the Capital Area/Travis Co rose to 5.9%, representing 44,831 jobless residents.
    • The overall November Austin-Round Rock MSA rate is at 5.9% or 74,345 jobless residents.
  • As Austin-area unemployment rate ticks up, Workforce Solutions wants to train people for expected 2021 jobs (KXAN)


What the new stimulus means for Austin’s jobless

Last week, TWC projected Austin’s unemployment rate had sharply increased, mirroring the roller coaster many of us are experiencing navigating through this economy. 

Now, higher weekly unemployment checks provided with the new stimulus package should help those still out of work until mid-March. 

Notable inclusions in the $900B stimulus package:

  • Extra $300/week unemployment payments through March 14, 2021
  • Extended employment benefits to self-employed individuals, gig workers — who comprise a sizeable amount of our local workforce — and those who’ve exhausted their state benefits
  • $284B in PPP to save jobs
  • $15B for live entertainment venues important to Austin
    • Worth your time: The Austin Texas Musicians nonprofit held a virtual meeting with Rep. Lloyd Doggett and Workforce Solutions (KXAN)
  • $10B for child care
  • $7B for broadband, which makes training via the internet available to more
    • Worth your time: Workforce Solutions joins Sen. Sarah Eckhardt for November discussion on broadband access and workforce development (Facebook Video)

Yes, but: If our Travis County neighbors want to use this time for help with job hunting, training for a new career, or connecting to support services, I encourage them to reach out to us at Workforce Solutions Capital Area.

How you can help: Please use our RE:WorkNOW Brand Kit to help spread the word about our no-cost, safe, and rapid training opportunities. Please reply to me here with any questions or requests.

  • An additional $200/week stipend is available for eligible enrollees on top of the new $300/week enhanced unemployment payments.
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