CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Figures from the US labor department showed the number of claims in the week ending March 28 climbed to 6.65 million, up from 3.3 million the previous week.
It was much higher than the 3.5 million estimate pencilled in by economists, and adds to fears about the depth of recession facing the country as it fights the pandemic.
The Texas Workforce Commission says it is now receiving an average of 120,000 calls a day as thousands of people grapple with losing their livelihood amid the coronavirus crisis. The agency also told the Southside Light News that they estimate the agency will spend the equivalent of a year’s worth of claims in only about a five-week period.
Looking back to February in Corpus Christi things did not seem to be looking at that bad. The city itself had about 4.4% unemployment back then, even factoring in for losses in the oil and gas sector.
What helped there was that the leisure and hospitality picked up the slack, bringing in a few jobs to help offset losses. But now, even that industry has taken a massive blow.
What’s even worse is that the Corpus Christi overall market has been getting sacked regularly since at least the first of the year. And that is causing plenty of concern.
Experts say that should the COVID-19 crisis be gotten under control and stabilization brought back to the oil and gas sector, things could possibly begin to rebound by Summer. But in the meantime, that can’t come soon enough for many Corpus Christi residents who are struggling to find their way amid this global calamity that is hitting home in more ways than one.