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Survey: Laid off workers in Tampa-St. Petersburg say they have less than 3 weeks support

Margie Manning

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Workers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area who have been furloughed or laid off say they are only able to support themselves or their households for 19 days.

Workers who have taken pay cuts or are working reduced hours can get by for about 28 days, according to a new survey from the Tampa Bay Partnership.

The survey is the first to measure local public sentiment since the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak began. It’s part of a series of data reports that the Partnership has undertaken in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, United Way Suncoast and University of South Florida Muma School of Business.


Related story:  New data project by Tampa Bay Partnership opens a window on how the area is faring during the Covid-19 pandemic


“This survey shows, very clearly, that residents of Tampa Bay have a high level of concern about the health and economic impacts of Covid-19 and they believe we have a long way to go before we put this crisis in the rear-view mirror,” said Rick Homans, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership.

The survey was conducted April 1-2 by Downs & St. Germain Research, which interviewed 384 adults in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.

One of four people surveyed have been laid off or furloughed from their job since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, the survey found. One in three have had their hours or pay reduced. About 38 percent are working from home.

For workers who have lost their jobs permanently or temporarily, about one-third, or 31 percent, said they think they can find another job at similar pay, but an equal number of those surveyed said they did not think that could happen and 38 percent were unsure.

In a separate vulnerability assessment of the Tampa-St. Petersburg area released earlier, the Partnership found the local economic fallout from the pandemic would hit hardest among the people who can least afford it

More than three out of four people who took part in the sentiment survey – 76 percent – said their top concern is getting sick with Covid-19. Just over half – 54 percent – were worried about finding essential food and supplies, and 48 percent were worried about paying bills.

Most residents think the community is not quite halfway through the crisis.

The survey also asked about the performance of government leaders individually and as groups.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor scored highest, with 48 percent saying her handling of the crisis was excellent or very good. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman got excellent or very good ratings from 41 percent of those surveyed.

In contrast, the Florida legislature and the U.S. Congress got the least positive ratings.

The survey will be conducted every two weeks to track the impact of Covid-19 on the region, including how Tampa Bay residents are feeling about the pandemic, key elected officials and government bodies, their own future and how the post-pandemic world will function.

Sign up here to subscribe to the Tampa Bay Partnership’s Covid-19 reports.

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