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COVID-19: The impact of unemployment among Texans

As COVID-19 struck Texas along with the rest of the world earlier this year, businesses and employees have suffered from the effects of the pandemic.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there were 805,082 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas as of Oct. 13, 6,084 of those cases are located in Hays County. As a result of these increasing numbers, local businesses and places of employment either closed down or made major changes in the workplace.

Essential businesses, such as grocery stores, continue to remain open but other businesses have not survived. Some businesses shut down because they were unable to bring in enough revenue to remain open and others shut down as a health precaution to protect their employees and the public. These shutdowns impacted employees throughout the state as many of them lost their jobs. 

The Texas Tribune stated that there were 3.6 million unemployment claims in Texas since the beginning of the pandemic. They also report that the Texas unemployment rate nearly doubled in August 2020 at 6.8% from the 3.5% unemployment rate in August 2019.

While not every business completely shut down, employees who maintained their jobs still suffered from cutbacks in their hours. Alondra Adame, a Texas State student and leasing consultant in San Marcos detailed her experience at her job when the pandemic first began.

Adame states, “The front office was immediately closed to the public, office hours were reduced and the staff was broken into teams in order to reduce the chance of everyone in the office getting sick.” Adame also expressed an initial fear of losing her job due to a shut down. “I wasn’t sure how the office would remain open, and since I had just started I honestly thought that I wasn’t going to have a job anymore, ”Adame said. Adame’s job has remained open by requiring appointments and masks.

As COVID-19 continues in the U.S., employees face the uncertainty of whether their place of employment will remain open or shut down. Businesses in San Marcos that remain open continue to take precautions for their customers and employees.

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