Virus Outbreak Texas Daily Life

A woman walks past a boarded up business on 6th Street in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Austin is under Stay at Home orders to help battle the effects of COVID-19. Content Exchange

(The Center Square) – The number of unemployment claims filed last week in Texas spiked by more than nine times the prior week, according to seasonally unadjusted numbers reported Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to the data, 155,657 Texas residents filed for unemployment in the week that ended March 21.

That's up 139,481 claims from the 16,176 filed the week ending March 14, according to the department.

Nationally, nearly 3.3 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week, a record number as businesses were forced to shut down to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has not issued a stay at home order statewide, but cities such as Austin have in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"This large increase in unemployment claims was not unexpected, and results from the recognition by Americans across the country that we have had to temporarily halt certain activities in order to defeat the coronavirus," U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said.

​Dan McCaleb is the executive editor of The Center Square. He welcomes your comments. Contact Dan at

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