Texas Workforce Commission asking people to stagger unemployment calls based on area code

As the COVID-19 pandemic leaves hundreds of thousands of Texans unemployed, the Texas Workforce Commission is overwhelmed with applicants.

To deal with the onslaught, TWC is asking people to stagger their calls to the agency in an effort to relieve the system, or use the online portal–which, as of 1:00 p.m. on Friday, was returning an error message.

The agency is asking applicants to call at certain times based on their area codes:

  • Mon-Wed-Fri 8am-Noon – Area codes beginning with 9
  • Mon-Wed-Fri 1pm-5pm – Area codes beginning with 3,4,5,6
  • Tues-Thurs-Sat 8am-Noon – Area codes beginning with 7,8
  • Tues-Thurs-Sat 1pm-5pm – Area codes beginning with 2

In a response to CBS Austin earlier this week, Cisco Gamez with the Texas Workforce Commission wrote “the average number of calls into the TWC would land between 13 to 20 thousand calls a day. Last week, over 1.5 million calls were made to our 800 number in a 24-hour period.”