Deep dive into Laredo household earnings during pandemic

Before COVID-19, Laredo household income rose from about $48,000 to more than $57,000.
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 8:40 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - A few years back, Laredo’s household income saw an improvement along with a drop in poverty rate, but when the pandemic hit it’s unclear what those numbers are anymore as families continue to endure financial hardships.

Between 2018 and 2019, the poverty rate dropped 6% and household earnings went up nearly 20%, making this the fourth-highest increase among some of the bigger cities in Texas, rubbing shoulders with San Antonio and Houston.

However, now that the pandemic made its way the current rate does not probably look the same.

Before COVID-19, Laredo household income rose from about $48,000 to more than $57,000, according to the U.S. Census’ American Community survey.

This put Laredo above some other cities like McAllen, Houston, and San Antonio.

The City of Laredo economic development director Teclo Garcia says this was because of the wages increasing on the industries that we see the most here in the gateway city, like Border Patrol and other law enforcement which he says start at at least $50,000 a year.

However, this year with the pandemic many were hit hard. At some point in the summer of 2020, unemployment in Webb County was at 14% but it’s now at 9.1% according to the latest reports.

Garcia says although part of the community is struggling with the pandemic, there still continues to be growth in the trade industry, government workforce, education, and healthcare.

The 2020 report from the census comes out until November of this year, so until then we don’t know the impact COVID has had on household incomes locally.

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