Report highlights indicators and trends amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
Baton Rouge, La. (March 31, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released a COVID-19 dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the novel corona virus on the regional economy. The dashboard is available online at brac.org/recovery and will be updated weekly.
The dashboard looks at fuel sales, oil prices, hotel occupancy rates, enplanements, employment, and more. With data from a number of regional stakeholders, the dashboard will be the most real-time analysis of the Baton Rouge metro economy available.
“During this time of economic uncertainty, in which a number of industries have been disrupted both in Baton Rouge and internationally, it’s crucial to take stock of the impact of the pandemic on local businesses and individuals,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “By engaging in real-time tracking of key economic indicators, we will be able to make informed decisions regarding utilization of resources and charting a path toward economic recovery once the pandemic is over.”
Key takeaways from BRAC’s dashboard are:
- Daily fuel sales in Baton Rouge were down year over year by 26% or more from March 19th through the 22nd;
- There were 17,290 new unemployment claims in the Capital Region from March 15th through the 25th, meaning unemployment may have nearly doubled;
- Hotel occupancy rates were nearly cut in half over the year for the week of March 19th through the 25th, falling from 63% in 2019 to 32% in 2020;
- Fuel prices, which play a major role in state revenues, fell from $58.15 per barrel in March 2019 to $32.57 per barrel in March 2020; and
- The Capital Region has a high number of residents in “essential” jobs, meaning that many businesses are still open, which could allow the virus to further spread, but also may insulate the region from as drastic an economic shock as other areas.
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.