CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The federal unemployment benefits gave those who qualified an extra $300 a week.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott cut off federal assistance payments in Texas on June 26th.

Only those not traditionally eligible for unemployment, including part-time workers, self-employed and gig workers were still eligible for benefits, but those ended Monday.

So, have local businesses seen a boost in business since the benefits ended in June?

The Pointe Bar and Grill in downtown Corpus Christi says it has hired five new employees since late June.

Owner, Francisco Cancio says he’s felt the difference between what business was like five to six weeks ago until now.

As people submit their applications, Cancio says there’s an ongoing issue in the food industry.

“With the benefits being cut off, people need to start getting back to their regular and income and routine that they have but with the virus still going on at the moment they come back to work and they get sick so they kind of have to lay off of work again,” he says.

The Texas Workforce Commission says the extra unemployment benefits were cut off because the state’s unemployment rate fell below 6.5% and right now, it reports nearly 76&. of posted jobs in the state are paying more than $11.50 an hour and only 2% of jobs pay around minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

One Pointe Bar and Grill employee says the type of job he is working is more important than how much he is making.

The most recent numbers show July’s unemployment rate in Texas was 6.2%, but Corpus Christi was higher at 7.5%.

There are several job openings in the leisure and hospitality industry, click here.

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If you’ve been putting off visiting Ireland, it just may be time to start planning a trip. That’s because Ireland’s prime minister recently announced the country plans to drop almost all of its COVID-19 restrictions in October.

“Because of the effort of our vaccination team and because you have stepped up to the mark and taken the vaccine when it was offered, we are now entering a whole new phase of the pandemic,” Prime Minister Micheál Martin said in a televised address, Reuters reports.

More than 88 percent of Ireland’s citizens who are over 18 are fully vaccinated from COVID-19, according to the prime minister’s office. Almost 92 percent of the country’s citizens over the age of 18 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

A Strict Lockdown

For months, Ireland maintained what some people called the most stringent COVID-19 restriction in Europe. That all changed this summer.

On July 19, Ireland adopted the European Union’s COVID-19 certificate so citizens could travel to the EU — and visitors could travel from the EU to Ireland. What’s more, people from Britain and the U.S. were able to travel to Ireland then as well. 

“This is an important time for us all,” Prime Minister Martin said at the time during a national address, a BBC article reported. “After the trauma of the last 15 months, we are finally taking definite steps toward enjoying normal times with friends and loved ones again. We are almost back to a point where we can enjoy the ordinary and extraordinary moments in our lives; the excitement and relief is palpable.”

Dropping Restrictions

“Subject to the continuation of this [vaccination] progress, we will enter a final phase on October 22, which is likely to last until at least next Spring,” the prime minister’s office explained in a statement. “This phase will see the majority of restrictions lifted and replaced by guidance and advice to enable us to work together to protect ourselves and to live our lives to the fullest extent possible.”

Even so, the statement does go on to caution that “we will need to continue to monitor the ongoing risk from the disease and take steps individually and collectively in our everyday lives to keep this risk under control.”

Here’s how restrictions will be eased:

Beginning on September 6, organized indoor events and mass gatherings in Ireland can take place with venue capacity limits of 60 percent — when all attendees are vaccinated or immune. Cinemas and theaters will also operate at 60 percent of capacity limits, again, when all patrons are vaccinated or immune.

Organized outdoor events and mass gatherings can take place with venue capacity limits of 75 percent when all attendees are vaccinated or immune.

Then, beginning September 20, organized indoor group activities — including sports, arts, culture, and dance classes — can take place with capacity limits of 100 people when all attendees are vaccinated or immune. Restrictions on outdoor group activities will be removed.

Finally, beginning

Employers added 235,000 jobs in August, far below expectations of 720,000 new hires, and the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 5.2%, the Department of Labor said Friday.

The fresh labor market data comes as the spread of the more contagious delta variant has throttled the pace of the recovery. The latest figure is a steep fall from the approximately 1 million jobs that were added in both June and July.

Despite the dismal top-line numbers, some labor economists see glimmers of hope in the continued job gains despite virus cases increasing sharply across the country.

“COVID cases surged more than fourfold between July and August and hospitals have reached capacity in parts of the country,” Julia Pollak, the chief labor economist at ZipRecruiter, told ABC News. “The last time that happened there was a very, very enormous and precipitous labor market effect — a very negative effect — and this time around, despite such a huge surge, we’ve actually seen the job market continue to make progress.”

Pollak also called the report “encouraging.”

“The labor market, rather than really stalling or going into reverse, has actually continued to recover,” she said. “The main COVID delta effects here are a slowdown in those face-to-face service industries, in retail and in restaurants particularly, but elsewhere, the labor market is looking strong.”

So far this year, job growth has averaged 586,000 jobs per month, the DOL said. While employment has risen by some 17 million since April 2020, the economy is still down about 5.3 million jobs from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020 — when the unemployment rate was at a historic low of 3.5% prior to COVID-19 walloping the labor market.

Notable job gains last month occurred in professional and business services (which saw an uptick of 74,000 jobs), transportation and warehousing (which saw a rise of 53,000 jobs), private education (which saw an increase of 40,000 jobs), and manufacturing (which added 37,000 jobs).

Employment in retail trade declined by 29,000 jobs in August, likely a reflection of the virus resurgence, with major losses in food and beverage stores (where 23,000 jobs were lost).

Leisure and hospitality employment was unchanged in August, the DOL said, after back-to-back gains the previous months. Employment in leisure and hospitality is still down by 1.7 million jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The latest data continues to reflect the uneven impact of the COVID-19 downturn. The unemployment rate for white workers was 4.5% in August, compared to 8.8% for Black workers, 6.4% for Hispanic workers and 4.6% for Asian workers.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) fell in August to 3.2

Malaysia pilots tourism travel bubble in Langkawi on 16 Sep, to open more destinations once vaccination rate hits 80%

The average vaccination rate in each state is expected to reach 80% of the adult population by the end of September 2021, and Prime Minister Ismail Sabri believes Malaysia could hit 100% vaccination by end-October.

A travel bubble could soon be underway for selected tourist destinations in Malaysia, once vaccination rates in each locality hits 80%, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has shared.

This programme will first begin with Langkawi Island on 16 September.

In the same vein, the Prime Minister said based on updates by the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Assurance Committee (JKJAV), the average vaccination rate in each state is expected to reach 80% of the adult population by the end of September 2021. As at 2 September, 65.9% of the adult population has completed their vaccination regime.

PM Ismail added: “I believe the 100% vaccination rate will be achieved by the end of October 2021, thus providing protection to the Malaysian Family. Citizens and entire Malaysian families also need to be prepared to live with COVID-19 as an endemic after October, when vaccinations are expected to be fully completed.

“Therefore, the Ministry of Health Malaysia is requested to present appropriate new pandemic and endemic strategies other than compliance with Standard Operating Procedures alone.”

Apart from the above, the Prime Minister also shared that starting tomorrow (Saturday, 4 September), Melaka will move to Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan, while Negeri Sembilan will move to Phase Three.

Last, he announced that the special meeting on COVID-19 will now be known as the Special Committee on Pandemic Management. “The Special Committee involves representatives from opposition parties. This approach is one of the collective efforts to involve all stakeholders to ensure that the country’s recovery goes as planned, in line with the spirit of the Malaysian Family.”

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Oregon’s unemployment rate fell to 5.2% in July, from 5.6% in June.

That puts the state’s jobless rate slightly below the national rate of 5.4%, but still above the record low unemployment rates Oregon experienced prior to the pandemic.

For many businesses, July was the first month without state-mandated COVID-19 restrictions since the pandemic hit. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown lifted those health and safety restrictions on June 30. (She reimposed a statewide indoor mask mandate last week, as cases tied to the delta variant threatened to overwhelm hospitals.)

The Oregon Employment Department said the state’s jobless rate began dropping more quickly in June and July, after decreasing by only 0.1 percentage point for five months in a row.

Nonfarm payroll employment grew by 20,000 jobs in July, surpassing the average gains for the prior six months. The largest job growth was in government — primarily local government, including schools — and in leisure and hospitality.

“The big 20,000 monthly job gains is huge,” wrote Josh Lehner of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis in a blog post on Tuesday. “It means Oregon has recovered 70% of its initial pandemic job losses.”

While workplaces such as restaurants, gyms and hotels added more than 7,000 jobs in July, the leisure and hospitality sector was still down almost 45,000 jobs from Feb. 2020.

Oregon employers have reported record numbers of job vacancies, according to the Employment Department, and businesses are struggling to fill them. But the pandemic continues to throw obstacles in some workers’ paths.

The Employment Department said that, from April to June, more than 32,000 Oregonians were prevented from looking for work because of issues related to the pandemic, including child care problems. That figure includes households where all adults worked prior to the pandemic. For them, the child care barrier may remain until schools fully re-open.

Meanwhile, the option to telework has declined nationwide, according to the agency. In May 2020 about one-third of workers across the country could telework because of the pandemic. Last month, only 13% could.

August’s jobs report should show the delta variant’s effect on employment in the state. That report is due out Sept. 14 — shortly after federal pandemic benefits expire for tens of thousands of Oregonians.

Central Ohio’s unemployment rate edged lower in July as the region continues its recovery from the pandemic.

The unemployment rate dipped to 5.4% last month from 5.7% in June, according to state employment data released Tuesday. Only Cincinnati’s rate of 5.3% was lower than the rate for Columbus among the state’s metro areas.

The Columbus region added 8,100 jobs last month, led by a gain of 3,500 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector. The professional and business sector added 2,800 jobs last month and the leisure and hospitality sector added 2,100 jobs.

Government employment fell by 1,000 jobs, the most of any sector.

Delaware and Union counties had the lowest unemployment rates in the region at 4.4% followed by 4.6% for Madison County.

Licking County’s unemployment rate in July was 5.0% and the rate for Fairfield and Pickaway counties was 5.2%. Morrow County’s unemployment rate was 5.5% and the rate for Hocking County was 5.5%.

The rate for Franklin County was 5.7% while the rate for Columbus was 6.0%.

Before the pandemic, the rate for Franklin County and Columbus was typically in line with the overall rate for the region, but Ohio’s big cities have been slower to bounce back from the coronavirus than their suburbs and their unemployment rates have remained higher than surrounding counties.

Perry County had the highest unemployment rate in the region at 6.3%.

Rates fell in 86 of Ohio’s 88 counties in July, remained the same in one county and increased in one county.

The data released by the state Tuesday are not adjusted for seasonal differences. 

Holmes County in northeast Ohio had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.7%.

Athens County in southeast Ohio and Jefferson County in eastern Ohio had the highest unemployment rates last month at 8.1%.

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Nonfarm jobs surpassed 5.7 million

Leisure & hospitality jobs saw biggest gain 

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) today released its employment situation report for July 2021. 

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was down three-tenths of a percentage point over the month to 6.6 percent in July. The U.S. rate fell one-half of a percentage point to 5.4 percent. The commonwealth’s unemployment rate was 6.4 percentage points below its July 2020 level and the national rate was down 4.8 points over the year. 

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – decreased 16,000 over the month due to a drop in unemployment which fell for the fifth consecutive month. Employment rose for the fifth time in the past six months. 

Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 28,800 over the month to 5,731,800 in July. Jobs increased in 8 of the 11 industry supersectors with the largest volume gain in leisure & hospitality (+16,200). The largest drop was in education & health services (-2,400). Over the year, total nonfarm jobs were up 222,200 with gains in 10 of the 11 supersectors. Leisure & hospitality, which includes the restaurant industry had the largest 12-month gain, adding back 85,500 jobs. All supersectors remained below their February 2020 job levels as of July 2021. 

Additional information is available on the L&I website at or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Note: The above data are seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah DeSantis, [email protected]                                                                        # # #


Editor’s Note: A breakdown of Pennsylvania’s employment statistics follows. 

Current Labor Force Statistics
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
        Change from Change from
  July June July June 2021 July 2020
  2021 2021 2020 volume percent volume percent
Civilian Labor Force 6,304 6,320 6,432 -16 -0.3% -128 -2.0%
Employment 5,891 5,887 5,593 4  0.1%  298  5.3%
Unemployment 414 433 839 -19 -4.4% -425 -50.7%
Rate 6.6 6.9 13.0 -0.3 —- -6.4 —-
Civilian Labor Force 161,347 161,086 160,085 261 0.2% 1,262  0.8%
Employment 152,645 151,602 143,777 1,043 0.7% 8,868  6.2%
Unemployment 8,702 9,484 16,308 -782 -8.2% -7,606 -46.6%
Rate 5.4 5.9 10.2 -0.5 —- -4.8 —-
August 2021 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released
September 17th, 2021.

Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and
Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
Change from Change from
July June July    June 2021     July 2020
  2021 2021 2020 volume percent volume percent
Total Nonfarm Jobs 5,731.8 5,703.0 5,509.6 28.8  0.5% 222.2  4.0%
Goods Producing Industries 811.6 808.2 790.7  3.4  0.4% 20.9  2.6%
  Mining & Logging 21.4 22.0 22.2 -0.6 -2.7% -0.8 -3.6%
  Construction 244.4 245.9 239.5 -1.5 -0.6%  4.9  2.0%
  Manufacturing 545.8 540.3 529.0  5.5  1.0% 16.8  3.2%
Service Providing Industries 4,920.2 4,894.8 4,718.9  25.4  0.5% 201.3  4.3%
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities 1,098.0 1,097.0 1,058.0  1.0  0.1% 40.0  3.8%
  Information 84.5

Colorado’s unemployment rate was mostly flat at 6.1 percent in July, compared with 6 percent the previous month, according to a seasonally adjusted survey of households. That compares with a national rate of 5.4 percent. The slight decline in Colorado’s rate was driven mostly by 2,800 people leaving the workforce.

It’s difficult to pinpoint why people are opting out of the labor force, according to state economist Ryan Gedney.

“Some of it could be statistical noise … It could be that we’re seeing retirements, it could be that individuals have to opt out of the labor force temporarily to care for someone, or to watch a child,” Gedney said.

Over the past 15 months, Colorado recovered 290,400 of the 375,800 non-farm payroll jobs lost between February and April of 2020, according to a separate survey of businesses. In July, professional and business services added about 5,000 jobs, while leisure and hospitality added roughly 4,300, the survey found. At the same time, construction lost 1,600 jobs, as did the trade, transportation and utilities sector.

The July surveys were conducted when COVID-19 transmission was still low in Colorado — prior to the Delta variant taking hold. Gedney says the state’s weekly unemployment numbers haven’t changed materially since cases and hospitalizations started rising.

Massachusetts employers added jobs at a robust pace in July, while the statewide unemployment rate held flat at 4.9% for the second month in a row, labor officials announced Friday.

Based on a survey of employers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the state added 43,400 jobs in July to push total employment above 3.5 million for the first time since the pandemic hit.

That one-month increase was the highest since August 2020, surpassing the 37,900 positions added in January. The largest growth came in the leisure and hospitality industry, which gained 19,400 jobs over the month, and in government, which added 12,700 jobs.

A separate BLS survey of households used to calculate the labor force and unemployment rate found little change from June to July. The unemployment rate in Massachusetts remained at 4.9% in July, 0.5 percentage points below the national unemployment rate. The labor force grew by 4,900, and the labor force participation rate — which represents residents 16 or older who worked or actively sought work in the last four weeks — ticked upward by one-tenth of a percentage point to 65.6%.

The state’s employment outlook has improved substantially since the early days of the pandemic, when the unemployment rate rose as high as 16.4% in April 2020, though businesses overall have only clawed back a bit more than two-thirds of the jobs lost in the early days of the crisis.

Gov. Charlie Baker has been pressing lawmakers to spend some of the state’s American Rescue Plan Act windfall on apprenticeship and job training programs, particularly with enhanced unemployment benefits scheduled to expire the week of Sept. 4 for 330,000 Bay Staters who remain out of work.