Baton Rouge, La. (May 12, 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.

“The data – even in advance of the state officially reopening – gives hope that the worst is behind us economically, and that it’s time to pivot toward recovery while still being mindful of the virus,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “New unemployment claims have slowed, and we’re seeing mobility increase as residents have begun to eat on patios and outdoor restaurant seating. The recovery from a two-month economic shutdown will be long and arduous, but these early indications of stabilization are encouraging..”

Key takeaways from this week’s dashboard include:

  • New unemployment claims have dropped for the second week in a row, and the third time in four weeks. As businesses reopen this week, the number of initial claims should decrease again as the rate plateaus;
  • Hotel occupancy and revenue rates continue to be a fraction of what they were in 2019, and will continue to suffer as the state and federal governments advise against non-essential travel;
  • While travel to retail and recreation remains low under the Stay at Home order, more people are traveling to their workplace;
  • The Capital Region makes up more than 18% of the state population, but only 13% of COVID-19 cases statewide, indicating that residents have taken steps to limit transmission of the virus.

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.

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