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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Workforce Commission’

Pauken for Governor

We have our first official non-fringe candidate for Governor next year. Saying he hoped to reunite the “Reagan coalition of social and economic conservatives,” former Texas Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken confirmed to the Tribune that he will file to run for governor in 2014. “I like [Gov.] Rick Perry. I like [Attorney General] Greg Abbott,” […]

It’s drug testing all the way down

Looks like the urinalysis industry in this state is going to get a big stimulus package next year, at least if the Republicans get their way. As top state leaders push to drug-test some Texans seeking jobless benefits and financial assistance, critics suggest the initiative would single out the powerless and hurt their children. It’s […]

Pauken on testing

Patricia Kilday Hart has a conversation with Texas Workforce Commission Chair Tom Pauken about testing and accountability in public schools. As a Texas Workforce Commissioner, Pauken has spent a lot of time studying whether our public school system prepares an educated workforce. His conclusion? The focus on college-prep and testing has, well, “left behind” kids […]

TAB takes a hostage

Can’t say I’m surprised by this tactic. Leaders in the business community said Wednesday that they would not stand for increased funding for education if it came with any rollback of accountability standards in Texas public schools. “If we are going to remain competitive in the world’s market, we are going to have to have […]

Job growth was good last year

More hopeful news for this year. Boosted by gains in energy, manufacturing and retail trade, the Houston area added 75,800 jobs during 2011, a 3 percent increase over the previous year, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday. “The numbers are impressive,” said Barton Smith, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Houston. Improvement appeared […]

How’s that Texas miracle going?

Not so good. The Texas unemployment rate reached 8.5 percent in August, its highest rate since June of 1987. That’s an increase from 8.4 percent in July. Those numbers come from the U.S. Department of Labor. The numbers were confirmed by the Texas Workforce Commission, which says the state lost 1,300 jobs in August. Texas […]

On Texas’ government jobs

Since I had previously complained about a lack of acknowledgement by Texas writers about the role that growth in the public sector has played in the so-called “Texas Miracle”, I want to give credit where it is due. In the Texas that Perry has presided over as governor since December 2000, the job-creation record is […]

Texas’ unemployment rate spikes

Texas unemployment rate hits its highest mark since 1987. That’s probably not the kind of headline Rick Perry wants to read right now. As Gov. Rick Perry touts job creation and limited government on the campaign trail, the Texas’ unemployment rate tied a 1987 record in July and the Austin-area took the brunt of the […]

Non-robust job numbers in Texas

As goes the country, so goes the state. The Houston area is showing signs of a slowdown after coming off some fairly strong job gains during the winter months. “It’s very consistent with the national pattern,” said Barton Smith, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Houston, who pointed to the data released Friday […]

The Lege’s job killing budget

Do you think this is what all those people who came out to vote last November had in mind? The Legislative Budget Board, a nonpartisan state agency that helps lawmakers with budget numbers, predicts that House version of the 2012-2013 state budget would result in 272,000 fewer jobs in Texas the first year and 335,000 […]

What about the jobs?

With all of the public sector job cuts coming, will the private sector pick up the slack? This Statesman story paints a picture that I think is a tad bit too optimistic. Government employment, which includes local school districts and higher education, made up 22 percent of total nonagricultural jobs in the Austin area in […]

You got a license for that downward dog?

How much regulation do yoga teachers need? In the past few years, the Texas Workforce Commission has begun sending letters to programs that train yoga instructors, advising them they must get certified to operate as a career school or college, or request an exemption. Career schools and colleges are regulated under the state’s education code. […]

Happy talk about Texas employment

2010 was a better year for employment in Texas than 2009 was. Texas employers expanded payrolls by 20,000 jobs in December, the third straight month the state has gained jobs, according to data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The state gained in most major employment sectors, led by construction, with 8,700 jobs. “It’s […]

How to really put the unemployed to work

Texas Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken has the germ of a good idea here. Unfortunately, he’s incapable of seeing what it is, and so goes off a cliff with it. “Even in good economic times, there were people in Texas who saw the unemployment system as simply another entitlement program, which it’s not,” Pauken, who served […]

(A little bit of) job growth returns to Houston

It’s a start. From small hand-lettered signs on shop windows to Fortune 500 heavyweights hosting job fairs, Houston companies are once again starting to look for workers. The influx of new jobs helped push the Houston area’s unemployment rate down slightly to 8.4 percent in April, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The local jobless […]

Just a reminder about Perry’s unemployment tax increase

Lisa Falkenberg watches some video of Texas Workforce Commission Executive Director Larry Temple testifying before the Senate and reiterates something we knew. Temple acknowledged Thursday to the Senate Committee on Economic Development that Texas’ decision not to take $556 million in unemployment stimulus dollars directly led to higher taxes for business owners and more borrowing […]

Unemployment taxes triple

Here comes the Rick Perry unemployment tax increase that we’ve been waiting for. Nearly two-thirds of Texas businesses will see the unemployment taxes they pay per employee per year nearly triple – from $23.40 to $64.80 – under rates announced today by the Texas Workforce Commission. The minimum tax is paid by nearly 255,000 employers, […]

Here comes the unemployment tax increase

Here comes that unemployment insurance tax hike we’ve all been waiting for. Under state law, the state’s unemployment trust fund is supposed to stand at 1 percent of taxable wages, or about $860 million. The fund has been depleted in the wake of high jobless claims. As a result, employers will have to pay more […]

Playing politics: Not just for the Forensic Science commission

Hey, you know that two billion dollars of federal funds we need to borrow to shore up the unemployment insurance trust fund? I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear that Rick Perry’s appointees on the Texas Workforce Commission are thinking about delaying the inevitable tax hike to pay for all that until after the 2010 […]

Always go to the source

If you find yourself in the position of needing to file for unemployment insurance from the state of Texas, be sure you go to the Texas Workforce Commission page to do it. Do not go anywhere else. As if it’s not bad enough to lose a job, some people trying to apply for unemployment benefits […]

You can pay me now, or you can pay me later

Odds are, we’ll opt for later to deal with the large deficit we’re facing with the unemployment insurance trust fund. Texas’ jobless-benefits fund is empty, and the state will probably borrow $1.5 billion from the federal government to pay benefits through December, a state official said Tuesday. But it’s unclear when Texas employers will have […]

Two billion dollars

Governor Perry’s grandstanding rejection of the federal stimulus money for unemployment insurance is going to cost us all more and more. Texas is preparing to borrow as much as $2-billion to pay for unemployment insurance benefits. That’s what the chairman for the Texas Workforce Commission told KERA in a recent interview. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports […]

Watson on unemployment

State Sen. Kirk Watson reviews the bidding on how the state of Texas has handled its unemployment issues. As was noted during this past legislative session by Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken (who was appointed by the Governor and once led the Texas Republican Party), unemployment assistance is not a welfare program. It exists to […]

More unemployed, fewer benefits

Boy, no one could have predicted this. In a sign of lingering hardship, more than 15,000 Texans will lose their unemployment checks at the end of the month because they have exhausted their benefits after 59 weeks without a job. They are among 82,000 Texans who are on their last allotment of unemployment benefits. Though […]

From the “Things are tough all over” department

Texas trying to keep up with unemployment claims. The rising number of jobless Texans has generated more claims than the Texas Workforce Commission can handle. The commission has added hundreds of workers and phone lines to call centers to deal with soaring unemployment claims, but officials acknowledge that they can’t answer every call. A commission […]

Unemployment insurance taxes set to rise

Good news, business owners! You’re going to see a tax increase soon. Most Texas employers should plan for their unemployment insurance taxes to increase significantly next year, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken of Dallas said Tuesday. While tax rates won’t be set until December, Pauken said that mounting layoffs are close to exhausting a […]

Oh by the way, the unemployment trust fund is going broke

Floor Pass has the bad news. The Texas Workforce Commission released its latest projection for the unemployment insurance trust fund balance, and the news is even worse than last month’s. TWC estimates the fund’s balance will have plummeted to just $19 million by October 1 – that’s $840 million below the trust fund’s legal minimum […]

Lege versus Gov on unemployment funds

Showdown time. The House committee charged with recommending how to use the federal stimulus money does not see eye to eye with Gov. Rick Perry on the $555 million for unemployment insurance. In a 5 to 1 vote, the committee on Thursday endorsed enacting the necessary changes to state law so that Texas would be […]

Once more with the stimulus and unemployment insurance

By the way, the money that the state has in reserve for unemployment insurance is rapidly being depleted. Just so you know. [Tuesday], the Texas Workforce Commission announced that the unemployment trust fund is now expected to be almost depleted by October. The commission issues monthly projections and each has been gloomier than the last. […]

Will we or won’t we fix unemployment insurance?

There’s a lot of money riding on the answer to that question. The lure of $555 million in federal stimulus money for additional unemployment insurance has Texas legislators mulling whether to expand unemployment benefits to more workers. To get that money, Texas would have to implement some key changes to state law — including modifying […]

So about all those stimulus funds

Remember how Governor Perry had argued against states receiving federal stimulus dollars? Well, he still doesn’t want them, though he’s giving himself some waffle room. Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday he’s not sure the state should accept all of its projected share of federal stimulus money — $16.9 billion and counting by preliminary estimates — […]

When you look up “short-sighted” in the dictionary, this will be cited as an example

That’s our Governor, for whom the expression “penny-wise and pound-foolish” is a way of life. Nearly a year ago, Gov. Rick Perry trumpeted $90 million in savings to businesses by temporarily suspending some of the burden of paying unemployment insurance taxes — money meant to replenish the unemployment compensation trust fund. The suspended tax was […]