Jonathan Lewis is a senior policy analyst with Every Texan—formerly the Center for Public Policy Priorities—an Austin-based nonprofit organization advocating for public policies that expand opportunity and equity for Texans, according to the organization's website. Community Impact Newspaper spoke with Lewis on June 2 about challenges businesses are facing in finding employees and Gov. Greg Abbott's announcement May 17 that Texas will opt out of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which has afforded unemployed Texans a $300 weekly unemployment supplement. The state will opt out of the additional weekly supplement effective June 26, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported."I think it’s really important to think about who is being impacted by these cuts, and it’s really our most vulnerable Texans. You think about people who have the hardest time in the labor market," Lewis said. "We’re seeing a lot of women obviously with childcare issues; workers of color have been especially hard hit by the pandemic; even thinking about our senior citizens who we know have a much harder time finding work once they lose employment [and] veterans. All these populations that we really need to be lifting up are the people that are still struggling to find these jobs that fit their needs and their lifestyle. I think it’s really important to highlight that this is really going to impact our most vulnerable populations more than others."
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