As feared, 6.4% of Texans were unemployed in January, up half a percentage point from the month previous.
Social service agencies are straining under the weight of increased need, and many are waiting on federal stimulus funds for relief.
Stimulus money is already supporting farm sector employment in the Texas Panhandle. According to HHSC, the stimulus funds will also help the rising number of hungry Texans, who will see a 13.6% increase in SNAP (aka Food Stamps) benefits next month. In addition to feeding newly hungry families, these funds will drive job growth in the agricultural and food retail sectors.