Figures released in early June of 2020 showed just how drastically employment in Houston was affected by the coronavirus pandemic and forced closures ordered by the government. These new numbers show that the metro area’s economy may have been impacted even more severely than previously thought due to a prolonged period of reduced economic activity.
Houston’s economy has gotten much worse because of coronavirus and restrictions
The company Workforce Solutions unveiled their data to the public. The Gulf Coast region of Houston was generally better off than many other parts of the city, with unemployment rates at about 14%. However, it seems that many people all over the general area are in a dire situation.
The local news interviewed some people who have been struggling. One man’s apartment in the southwest part of the city is almost totally empty after he sold his couch and television just to be able to make his rent payment. He said that he cannot believe what has happened in the last few months, and that the pandemic has broken his spirit. His air conditioning unit in his apartment has also been broken for some time, and he’s relying on his refrigerator to stay cool. The only way out of this situation is for him to find a job, and even one off day jobs doing things like pickup up trash or assisting laborers seem to be rare.
While areas such as Sugarland and Pearland had an unemployment rate of about 11%, the Houston city limits had a 14% unemployment rate. Galveston and Baytown both had over 20% unemployment rates. Job postings for the city were at around 130,000 in March, but by the end of May that had dropped to around 80,000. Sales, healthcare, and various management positions have seen the sharpest declines.
The law and unemployed workers
When someone loses their job, their employer must still pay them all of the wages that they are owed and only terminate their position for neutral reasons such as the business losing money or poor job performance. Some employers will even terminate a worker for an illegal reason, then try to find a legitimate excuse for doing so. This is called a pretext for discrimination and it is illegal.
All money that is owed to a worker, including overtime, must be paid to the person regardless of the reason that they were terminated. Legal assistance may be required for employers who are evasive about outstanding wages.
Houston employment lawyers are ready to help
Unemployed, recently laid off, and terminated workers in the Houston area should seek legal help if they are concerned about improper payment, missing overtime hours, or discrimination. To get assistance with any of these issues from a licensed attorney, contact:
440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002