1,200 Lost Unemployment Benefits On South Plains

For over a million Americans, this is their first week living without long-term unemployment benefits. The federal benefits expired this past Saturday. Over 70 thousand of those impacted live in Texas and many right here on the South Plains.
By Michaela MacDonald

LUBBOCK, TX -- About 12 hundred people on the South Plains lost their unemployment benefits when long-term federal unemployment benefits expired December 28th.

Two local counties were among the highest in the state.  Lubbock ranks 25th in the state having had 343 people lose their unemployment compensation on December 28th.

Hale County ranks 19th in the state having 647 people lose their benefits. Of course, the county had a spike in unemployment in 2013 due to closure of the Cargill Meat Plant.

"Its a large number, I was surprised when they sent me the numbers this morning saying that Hale County was ranked 19th out of 25 counties that is pretty high, and then of course Lubbock being right on the border line at 25 so we had two counties in the top 25 so yeah that hurts," Workforce Solution South Plains' Danny Soliz said.

Soliz says they have been working on training with many people in Plainview, but since these benefits have expired many are ready to stop training and start working.

"A lot of them say we want a job we want to go to work since they knew they were losing their benefits as long as they were generating their benefits they were okay with training but now they are saying we want jobs so we are trying to do all that we can to try to help them," said Soliz.

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