Houston workers struggling in midst of pandemic
A new survey released from the Texas Gulf Coast Labor Federation shows the swift devastation the coronavirus crisis has already caused to area jobs.
According to the data, the scope of the pandemic across the area didn’t really come into view until the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo shutdown on March 11.
The annual event is a huge draw, attracting millions of people around the world and funding millions in scholarships every year. Despite the closure, scholarship commitments will be fulfilled, but many are still dealing with the sudden blow of losing their jobs.
The survey found that by the time the rodeo shut down, two-thirds of respondents indicated that their members had already been furloughed or laid off, with government workers and teachers largely being the primary exceptions.
Ninety-nine percent of downtown entertainment workers have already been laid off.
But the domino effect continues due to the pandemic. Along with job loss, schools have been forced to close, meaning workers must stay home to take care of their children. In turn, now 44% are struggling with basic necessities, such as food and rent.
Even though METRO drivers and mechanics have not been laid off right away, they say they want more protection.
The survey was conducted on March 17.
You can read the full results here.