Stabilization continues across major indicators
Baton Rouge, La. (June 2, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its weekly COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. The weekly dashboard is available online at brac.org/recovery.
All tracked indicators continue to point toward stabilization across the Capital Region. Weekly new and continuing unemployment claims, while still vastly higher than pre-COVID levels, are continuing to fall as more small businesses begin to reopen.
“As we begin Phase Two of reopening on Friday, we expect these stabilization trends to continue,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “Retail and recreation mobility for the region was down only 6% from pre-pandemic norms last week, up from -30% from the week prior, a trend we’d anticipate translating to greater consumer spending in the coming weeks as residents will have more places to go.”
Key takeaways from this week’s dashboard include:
- Hourly employment at small businesses rose several percentage points in East Baton Rouge and Livingston, but nearly 7% in Ascension, which is approaching pre-pandemic levels;
- While both initial and continued unemployment claims have fallen weekly in the Capital Region for the last month, claims are still nearly 3,000% higher than the week preceding pandemic closures;
- Both public transit data and traffic counts show significant over-the-month increases, reflecting the increase in activity once Phase One began;
- Although hotel revenue is still down considerably, likely due to lower rates, occupancy is still on the rise. The week ending May 23 saw occupancy up to 73% of what it was on a similar week in 2019;
- Retail and recreation mobility for the region was down only 6% from pre-pandemic norms last week; it was down 30% from those norms a week earlier.
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.
Data related to vehicle fuel sales was not available at the time of publication. That information will be added when possible.
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.