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After 11 days at triple digits and Wednesday's record-tying high temp of 106, Austin is forecast to reach as high as 107 every day through Sunday, according to local weather reports.
A heat advisory is in effect, with residents encouraged to stay indoors or stay well hydrated and take frequent breaks if you spend time outdoors.
"Today will be our 12th consecutive day in the triple digits," KXAN Austin forecasters report. "By next Wednesday, as the streak continues, 18 consecutive 100° days would move us into a tie for the 5th-longest heatwave in Camp Mabry's record books (Bob Rose/LCRA). The longest 100° streak in Austin was 27 consecutive days in July and August 2011 — a year that featured 90 total days in the triple digits."
The scorching temps in Texas, which get even hotter towards El Paso, are part of a national heatwave caused by a shift in the jet stream and settling over the West through Monday, with highs that reach a blistering 116 in Yuma, Arizona.
"We're talking some real brutal stuff," says Weather.com meteorologist Domenica Davis.
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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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