Baton Rouge, La. (April 21, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its weekly COVID-19 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.
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.
“The regional economic patterns we have seen over the past month persist as the stay-at-home order continues, although there is evidence that some negative effects have plateaued,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “While new initial unemployment claims are down from prior weeks of the shutdown, they are still significantly higher than the normal historical week; similarly, consumer vehicle fuel sales are down over-the-year, but not as low as they were several weeks ago. However, oil futures trading at a negative price for the first time in history will have a significant impact on the state budget, and hotels – a major source of employment for the region and state – have seen revenues drop 77% last week from the year prior. As we approach some sort of reopening of the economy, we must consider all these factors in how we begin to shape a plan for recovery.”
Key takeaways from this week’s dashboard include:
- While the number of weekly new initial unemployment claims for the Capital Region is down over the week, the number is still approximately 100 times higher than the typical week;
- Although commercial/industrial vehicle fuel sales continue to be down minimally over the year, consumer vehicle fuel sales are down significantly (37%);
- Hotels continue to struggle, with revenues for the week of April 5 – 11 down 77%, and occupancy down 38% for the same timeframe;
- The number of COVID-19 cases in the Baton Rouge metro remains relatively low, the mortality rate of nearly 6% is quite high;
- Regarding mobility, retail and recreation remain static, while workplace mobility fell from -34% to -40% over-the-week. This may be due to higher unemployment or more positions working remotely.
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 1,500 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.