Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

City Guide 2014: “Outside the Loop” is used as a pejorative by Downtown-centric cool kids, but oases of culture can be found in the sprawling suburbs of the North Side.... By Dan R. Goddard 2/24/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Guide: It’s almost summer, which means that your government-subsidized free daycare (aka public school) goes on hiatus thanks to an archaic allegiance to a rural agriculture economic system that hasn’t been in play for decades. What to do with the wee ones whining 5/21/2014
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Federal Unemployment Benefits Dry Up For Jobless in SA

Photo: Creative Commons Images, License: N/A

Creative Commons Images

[Update: U.S. Senate Votes to Temporarily Extend Unemployment Benefits]

While most of us popped Champagne corks and rung in the New Year with carefree celebration, more than a million jobless Americans braced themselves for a year without much needed federal financial assistance. As part of a cost-saving compromise in the 2014 budget meant to appease fiscal conservatives, Congress allowed emergency unemployment compensation to expire in late December, removing a vital lifeline for some 1.3 million people nationwide.

In Texas, the cuts automatically affected more than 64,000 residents searching for employment and will end up hurting an additional 106,900 people mid-way through 2014, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Jobless Texans can still obtain state unemployment insurance but those benefits only last 26 weeks (or about six and a half months), whereas before the expiration they could stay afloat for another few months through the federal program. In other words, when the state funds run out over time, Texans won’t be able to look to the feds for help.

“It’s unfortunate that 1.3 million Americans had to go through Christmas and New Year’s not knowing whether their benefits would be expanded and then finding out, in fact, they hadn’t,” Ed Sills of the Texas AFL-CIO tells the Current. “That’s a horrible way to spend the holidays— worrying about where your next rent payment or next meal is coming from.”

At the outset of the recession in 2008, the government extended the emergency unemployment program to help boost dismal unemployment rates—then hitting a record of 10 percent in 2009. As those figures have begun to steadily fall—today the unemployment rate is at 7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—the government has slowly pulled away aid, bringing the number of weeks someone can be covered by the program down from 99 to 46 last year. But while unemployment is faring better, long-term joblessness is still a glaring problem—the BLS notes that one out of three unemployed people have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

What does it mean for San Antonio? In Bexar County, tattering the unemployment safety net likely overshadowed the excitement of a new year for around 3,384 jobless SAers, according to estimates from the Democrats of the Congressional Ways and Means Committee. BLS data shows 5.8 percent of San Antonio/New Braunfels residents are unemployed, as of October 2013, the most recent calculation available.

Sills says the unemployment crisis is actually much worse; the jobless rates on the books likely amount to a fraction of the total. “The number is just a really small piece of it because there are others who have gone unemployed much longer, but their benefits expired, so they’re no longer counted. There’s also a large number of people underemployed, doing part-time work that doesn’t cover all their expenses but does bring in some income.”

Recently in News
  • Texas Law Leaves Abortion Out of Reach for Many Women Texas’ sweeping abortion law has already eliminated all abortion clinics south of San Antonio, and the last clinic west of the city... | 8/27/2014
  • Cityscrapes: A race to the convention floor “Conventions go to the city which exerts the greatest efforts to secure them. San Antonio can get any convention that it goes after.” That was the position... | 8/27/2014
  • Mayoral Horserace Once elected next spring, San Antonio’s new mayor will have just a few months to prepare for the 2016 budget... | 8/27/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus