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Statement on State of Texas Terminating Its Participation In The Agreement Implementing The Relief For Workers Affected By Coronavirus Act

May 18, 2021Doug Peters, President & CEO

Dear member –

A few weeks ago, we surveyed you, our valued partner, on the status of your workforce challenges. Out of the 101 responses received, 70 percent of Chamber members surveyed needed applicants and an overwhelming number of businesses perceived the extension and enhancement of employment benefits as a challenge to finding employees.

Your Chamber went to work hosting an in-person “Hire Now” event, reaching out to local media partners to shed light on local opportunities available, shared your stories with elected representatives, and leveraged our connections with Texas Association of Business (TAB) to share the struggles you were facing.

We were pleased when we learned yesterday that Governor Abbott announced Texas will terminate its participation in the Agreement Implementing the Relief for Workers Affected by the Coronavirus Act, effective June 26, 2021.

While these benefits are and were a relief for many Texans and Abilenians during the havoc COVID-19 wrecked on our economy, according to Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), there are nearly 60 percent more jobs open and listed in Texas today than in February 2020, the month before the Pandemic hit Texas. Nearly 45 percent of posted jobs offer wages greater than $15.50 per hour, and approximately 76 percent pay more than $11.50 per hour. Only two percent of posted jobs pay around the minimum wage.

Your Chamber encourages you to utilize your free resource abileneworks.com to post any opportunities you may have available. In the meantime, your Chamber staff will continue to market local opportunities to those seeking positions and hope this allows Abilene and Texas to continue to recover.

Onward!

President & CEO
Abilene Chamber of Commerce
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