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Nearly 9 percent of El Pasoans remain unemployed during virus pandemic

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EL PASO, Texas -- More than 31,000 people across the Borderland region are unemployed and searching for work.

The recent numbers released by Workforce Solutions Borderplex states 31,205 individuals are unemployed, which totals 8.7 percent of El Paso.

“The unemployment rate includes all people who are classified as unemployed. If they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior four weeksand are currently available for work,” Interim Programs Director Alma Aranda said.

ABC-7 caught up with Cindi Gunderson, who is a bartender at Rockin Cigar
Bar. She was unemployed a month ago and recently found a part-time job.

 “We are back at work,” she said. “We have too many bartenders and less shifts to work at work."

Before the pandemic she would clear 32-hours a week; now she only gets eight hours a week.

“I am still on unemployment because I am only part time,” she said.

Aranda explains, “You are receiving income through part-time work and you calculate that and they have a way to make a reduction that doesn’t mean you lose all your benefit.”

It’s a complicated system, but many are finding themselves stuck in it.
Comparing July and the most recent data available from August, trends are
improving. “We are seeing more people working so we are seeing a decrease in comparison from July to August - we saw a decrease of 2,800 people,” Aranda said.

Texas is extending benefits up to 39-weeks for those affected by Covid-19.

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