Latest BRAC report suggests plateau in economic recovery 

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber today released the latest update to its COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. 

Over-the-week data shows relatively little change across indicators, which may point to a plateauing of recovery on a regional level. Next week’s unemployment data, which will represent the first full week of phase two, will be illustrative in how expanded openings impacted small business employment, BRAC says. 

“This week’s data is a stark reminder that the reopening of the economy is dependent on the willingness of residents to engage in commerce much more than any government edict,” says Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC, in a news release. “Phase Two of reopening saw slightly higher employment and spending, but also higher positive COVID test results. That fact, combined with the tropical storm, seems to have led to a plateauing of the economic recovery on a regional level—as seen by the lack of mobility of residents.”

Key takeaways from this week’s dashboard include:   

• Small business employment continues to tick upward in the region, but at a relatively slow pace. 

• Unemployment claims have stopped falling and have plateaued at around 57,000 for the region. 

• Like employment, hotel occupancy data is flat, despite early June being a high-travel time in 2019. 

• CATS ridership and mobility data generally show less movement than the week before, potentially due to concerns about the tropical storm.

See the full indicator here. 

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