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A week after record-breaking heat, Central Texas is set to be hit with an arctic blast that could plunge temperatures into the teens on Valentine's Day weekend.
While the first half of this week will see average temperatures in the 60s, by this Thursday, a strong blast from the northern U.S. is expected to sweep into Central Texas. Highs could drop to the low 50s from Wednesday to Thursday and down to freezing temperatures by Friday.
A warming trend is forecast Sun through Tue. A cold front is forecast to push across the area on Tue. Behind the fr… https://t.co/4XJBLNHZD7— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWS Austin/San Antonio)1612612202.0
Austinites can expect a biting cold and cloudy day on Saturday with a high of 42 and low temperatures plunging to 19 degrees. The Weather Channel is predicting two more consecutive days with freezing temperatures and chilly rain next Monday before temperatures begin to rise back up again.
A brisk Valentine's Day is in store for couples and singles alike, who might enjoy staying indoors on Sunday with high temperatures of 38 degrees and a low of 23.
Low temperatures are expected into early next week with chilly rain expected next Monday, until thawing out mid-week.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment benefits related to the pandemic effective June 26, citing the number of current job openings and concern about potentially fraudulent unemployment claims. The benefits include a $300 weekly supplement.
"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring communities across the state," Abbott said in a statement. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment jobs."
TWC listed 837,273 job openings as of Monday afternoon compared to 226,849 unemployment insurance claims filed statewide between March 31 and May 1. An estimated 1 million Texans were unemployed as of March, according to latest estimates released by the state agency.
Some local business owners, including Doc's Backyard Grill owner Charles Milligan, suspect unemployment benefits are deterring Austinites from returning to work. But others agree with economists who say multiple factors are at play, including health concerns and child care availability.
We're seeing lots of posts about how nobody wants to work right now. Just wanted to share our experience.
We received over 60 resumes for a taproom bartender position we posted last week. Every applicant we've set up an interview with has shown up.
People want 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 work.
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 11, 2021
Abbott also cited fraudulent unemployment claims. Between March 2020 and April 2021, TWC received 4.48 million unemployment benefit applications, 611,000 or around 14% of which were tagged as suspicious. Most of those tagged were blocked before any benefits were paid out, according to an April 29 press release.
Federal law requires the effective date of such benefits change to be at least 30 days after the U.S. Department of Labor is notified.
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