Another 128,105 Texans filed for unemployment last week, just a slight dip from the roughly 134,000 claims filed the week ending May 16.
Since mid-March, about 2.2 million Texans have filed for unemployment, as state and local orders attempting to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus brought the economy to a standstill. Nationwide, just over 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total of Americans filing for unemployment in the past 10 weeks to more than 40 million.
The state has since moved into its plan to gradually reopen the economy. Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott permitted child care centers to reopen, as well as bars at 25% capacity, part of the second phase of reopening. And Tuesday, the governor issued a proclamation allowing mall food courts and water parks to resume operations.
A quarter of a million Texans with approved unemployment claims still have to request payment, said Cisco Gamez, a spokesperson for the Texas Workforce Commission, at a Wednesday media briefing. After a claim is approved, Texans must request payment every two weeks on their assigned day to receive benefits.