- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 23, 2021

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday that his state is flourishing economically in part because major companies are fleeing from other regions that imposed strict coronavirus-related lockdowns.

“One thing that is powering the economy is because so many businesses are fleeing shutdown states,” Mr. Abbott said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

He pointed to a Tesla factory near Austin that’s supposed to be up and running soon, Oracle’s move of its headquarters from California to Austin and Hewlett-Packard’s move to Houston as examples.

“We see so many businesses coming to the state of Texas and that is one reason why Texas was recently recognized by CEO Magazine as the best state for doing business,” the governor said.

Texas is one of at least 22 states that announced it will soon end the $300-per-week federal unemployment insurance supplement that was included in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

He said one reason Texas pulled back is because of the high demand for workers and said about 18% of unemployment claims are turning out to be false or fraudulent.

He said from April 2020 to April 2021, Texas added about a million new jobs.

“Consumer spending is through the roof,” he said. “According to the Dallas Federal Reserve, consumer spending now is above where it was before the pandemic even hit.”

The White House has argued that the supplemental boost to unemployment checks isn’t a major driving factor in reported labor shortages in some industries, like bars and restaurants, as more states loosen their coronavirus-related business capacity restrictions.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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