The COVID-19 pandemic has completely overturned our way of life and its impact on our workforce has not stalled. First-time unemployment claims have continued to increase for the last two weeks, with 46,300 new claims in the week of January 2nd alone. Since March 21st, 2020 we have 4.1 million Texans unemployed, according to the Department of Labor.
Our workforce issues go beyond the pandemic, however. Only 26% of Texans bring home a living wage, with black and Hispanic Texans being 2.1 times less likely than white Texans to earn that living wage. Texas prides itself on being a business-friendly state, but 75% of employers are struggling to fill talent needs. With numbers like these, it’s clear that the 2021 Legislative Session needs to focus on the workforce.
That’s why Texas 2036 has created an initiative called Aim Hire Texas to align our state’s education system and skills development programs with the urgent and future needs of Texas employers. We have to expand opportunities for Texans of all backgrounds and get those most affected by the pandemic back on their feet as quickly as possible. Visit www.aimhiretexas.org to learn more!