Weekly unemployment claims fall to their lowest since week ending March 14
Baton Rouge, La. (December 8, 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.
“As we near the end of 2020, one of the biggest questions outside of the vaccine rollout is whether congress passes a stimulus bill before the new administration takes over in mid-January,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “Ongoing negotiations include unemployment enhancement and a new round of Paycheck Protection Program funding, which would boost consumer spending through the holidays and ensure businesses hit hardest by the lockdowns – such as restaurant and bars – can survive until vaccines are widely distributed and the economy begins to return to relative normality.”
Key findings from this week’s dashboard include:
- Weekly unemployment claims fell to their lowest since the week ending March 14th, the last week before the statewide stay-at-home order;
- Consumer spending is well above pre-pandemic levels in Ascension and Livingston, while it’s hovering around January levels for East Baton Rouge, showing consumer confidence is still relatively strong;
- Hotel occupancy has dipped over-the-year in recent weeks, likely due in part to travel advisories urging people to stay in their home towns for Thanksgiving;
- Mobility within the community rebounded after being down for the week of Thanksgiving, as residents returned to work, grocery shopping, and other activities.
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.