BEAUMONT, Texas — Today, hundreds of thousands of Texans will lose their federal unemployment benefits.
Gov. Greg Abbott withdrew Texas from the federal program that allowed Texans to receive an extra $300 during the pandemic.
Business owners said that the extra money made it harder to find people willing to work.
Jimmy Samaha, manager of Diamond Diner in China, Texas, told 12News earlier this month that food and labor costs together have gone up at by a minimum of 10 percent, so he was forced to raise his prices to keep his restaurant open.
"People that come in, they work for a little while, then they wanna quit," Samaha said. "They want to get the $600 or whatever they can get from unemployment. They try to get that and that has been a problem."
However, pro-labor groups said many people were holding out for long-term careers with higher pay.
Some Southeast Texans said they are living paycheck to paycheck, and that the extra $300 was a big help and a huge relief.
In a previous interview with 12NewsNow, Lance Lastrape, ExxonMobil union member, said the the extra money has made a difference. He has been unemployed for nearly two months due to the ExxonMobil lockout, and some of his benefits set to expire.
"Any little things could help," he said. "Anything helps so just that $300 going away, that's something extra that can go toward food utilities or anything."
The majority of Southeast Texas unemployment claims are coming from those working in oil and gas, industrial construction and non-residential contractors
Pamela Wise, program analyst for Workforce Solutions of Southeast Texas, said that the increase in cost of childcare, food and gas is something to consider.
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