Recovery continues, with significant gaps between low and high-wage earners
Baton Rouge, La. (October 20, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. The dashboard is available online at brac.org/recovery.
“The economy continues to gradually improve, although newly available data from late August highlights significant gaps in the recovery that will likely persist,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “The fact that almost all jobs still lost were low wage underscores how crucial it is for the federal and state governments to be proactive in providing support for those whose jobs are gone. The ripple effect of failing to act is being felt by landlords, banks, and other creditors as savings are exhausted and rent, mortgages, and credit card payments become due.”
Key findings from this week’s dashboard include:
- Combined weekly unemployment claims fell for the twelfth week in a row, and hit their lowest number since March;
- As of late August, low-wage jobs were still hit hardest by the pandemic. These jobs are largely in the leisure and hospitality sector, which is still affected by the Phase III restrictions;
- Hotel occupancy is in line with the same week in 2019, although revenues are notably lower; and
- In mobility data, CATS ridership is slightly up, although overall residents appear to be spending more time at home than in previous weeks.
This week’s dashboard illustrates the recovery gap between low and high-wage earners. As of late August, low-wage jobs were still down over 20% from pre-pandemic numbers, while high-wage jobs were up 5%.
The dashboard looks at a number of data points to illustrate the economy’s current state. With data from a number of regional stakeholders, the dashboard is the most real-time analysis of the Baton Rouge metro economy available.
To download this week’s indicator dashboard directly, click here.
BRAC is regularly updating brac.org/recovery with business resources and guidance related to COVID-19.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,400 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.