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Unemployment rate at 8.8% in Corpus Christi, according to a recent survey

The biggest challenge now is recruiting workers and paying them more than they can make on unemployment.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Finding enough workers to fill available jobs was just one of the topics covered by the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation at a meeting at the Ortiz Center earlier Friday.

It came out of a series of surveys of businesses across 15 South Texas counties. They were conducted by Dr. Jim Lee from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. He is the director of the university's economic development center.

The surveys found that while most businesses have reopened since last year's lockdown, they are still being negatively impacted by the pandemic.

The biggest challenge now is recruiting workers and paying them more than they can make on unemployment.

"The problem is that a lot of unemployed, they decide to stay at home, taking the unemployment benefits rather than getting the paychecks again," Dr. Lee said. "That is our dilemma right now."

Unemployment numbers in Corpus Christi are at 8.8-percent, which is double what they were one year ago.

Also noted in the survey were disruptions to the supply chain, most notably in the area of construction.

As we've reported, delays in getting building materials and the higher cost of those materials are driving up new home prices.

RELATED: Prices for lumber have increased dramatically

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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