The people of Texas have endured the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the economy. This survey sheds light on the challenges and needs. The results should help to guide policy so that resources may be allocated to support those in need.
I was proud to work on the United Way COVID-19 Survey with the Texas Association of United Ways and United Ways across the state. The volunteer sample resulted from direct appeals by the United Ways and press releases. The survey was available from June 1-June 28th, 2020, with a total of 3,224 responses from across the state.
Find the full impact and sub-reports here: https://www.uwtexas.org/covid-19
Impact of COVID-19
- Most people expressed an overwhelming fear of catching COVID-19 (65%), followed by a concern for their communities (61%).
- Households earning below the Federal Poverty Level were nearly three times as likely to experience a high effect of COVID-19, and the Hispanic families were twice as likely as white households. 89% of single female mothers experienced a moderate or high effect of COVID-19
- People in hospitality, arts/entertainment/food, construction, and Sales report the greatest impact of COVID-19. At the same time, utilities and those outside the labor force report the least effect.
- 39% of Hispanics indicated a high effect of COVID-19 compared to 31% for Black and 19% for White respondents.
- Nearly 50% of White respondents reported “no needs” as compared to 20% of Black and 26% of Hispanic respondents.
Impact on Employment
- Hispanic households lost or reduced employment in 37% of their jobs compared to 35% for Black and 24% for white families.
- 28% of senior citizens below ALICE threshold are still looking for work and struggling to pay essential bills.
- 33% of single female heads of household lost work due to child care.
The ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Subgroup had their concerns.
- 37% of ALICE households and 39% or homes in poverty needed to add technology to adapt to stay-at-home order or school closures.
- ALICE households are going into debt with 33% increasing balances on credit cards and 16% taking out loans.
- Job loss affected low-income households more with job loss at 34% in ALICE households and 62% for those in poverty.
Adapting to the Shutdowns
- Most often, the Cares Act stimulus checks were used for utilities (38%), food (38%), or housing (36%).
- Families in poverty were significantly less likely to receive a stimulus check from the CARES Act.
- There was a surge in the need for Internet capacity.
- Out of their limited budgets, 37% of ALICE households and 39% or homes in poverty added technology to adjust to stay-at-home order or school closures.
- White households were more likely to monitors, microphones, and cameras.
- Black households tended to need computers and cell phones.
- Hispanic families were more likely to choose tablets.