What Impact Does The Winter Storm Shutdown Have On Houston’s Economy?

The icy roads have essentially shut down the city for two days now

In terms of employee productivity, expert said more people can now easily work from home than in the past.

Houston area school districts and universities have been closed; so have many city and county offices. Even grocery stores and restaurants have kept their doors shut.

How much does it cost an economy as big as Houston's when it's essentially dormant for a day or two?

"It won't even show up in the numbers," said Patrick Jankowski, regional economist at the Greater Houston Partnership. "You won't see it in the GDP, you won't see it in the income, you won't see it in the employment. This will not be something which the economists will even pay much attention to."

Why? Because the majority of lost productivity will be made up on other days.

Steven Craig, economist at the University of Houston, seconds that.

"If you don't go shopping for the two days, you make up for it some other time, right?" he said.

In terms of employee productivity, Craig said more people can now easily work from home than in the past.

But the shutdown is having some kind of impact. For example, hourly workers are losing a day or two of salary.

But Jankowski said many may make up for it by working overtime later.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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