Masked!

The Hidden and Preventable Losses to the Texas Economy Associated with Inadequate Protective Measures for COVID‑19

Published on August 20, 2021
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Texas has recently seen a sharp upswing in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. This spike has caused substantial disruptions and hardships to families across the state (including many children), compromised safety as schools seek to reopen and address the massive educational gap that has surfaced during the pandemic, and added further strain to an already fragile healthcare complex. Despite these concerns, there has been massive resistance by policymakers to sensible and basic protective measures, such as appropriate masking requirements and measures to encourage higher vaccination rates. In addition to these obvious consequences, this approach is also resulting in preventable losses to the economy through reduced employment and decreases in productivity. The Perryman Group (TPG) has recently quantified these adverse effects.

Based on an analysis of outcomes with and without an effective policy response (download the PDF for more information), The Perryman Group estimates that preventable decreases in output (gross state product) due to the inadequate reaction to COVID-19 total $13.4 billion on an annualized basis. Employment losses were found to reach almost 72,000 jobs.

Although the amounts differ markedly by industry, the typical worker who is unable to return to work due to the current situation results in a loss of $66,552 in output for their employer and $186,755 to the overall state economy on an annualized basis.

Economic activity generates tax receipts, and the failure to implement meaningful measures leads to notable losses in State revenues of $339.1 million on an annualized basis.

In addition to the tragic human costs in terms of illness and loss of life and compelling social ramifications, inadequate responses to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases also causes quantifiable harms to the Texas economy.

For more details please refer to the full brief.