The Washington State Department of Commerce has launched a new online dashboard that uses a variety of sources to track Washington state’s economic recovery and resiliency.
The state department says that the new Economic Recovery Dashboard displays the latest available data on employment, businesses, government assistance programs and consumer behavior, helping monitor the economic impact of COVID-19 across our state.
Brown and Chris Green, Assistant Director of Economic Development and Competitiveness at Commerce, unveiled the state’s new tool for analyzing and visualizing data from public and private organizations to reliably examine the impact of COVID-19 on the state’s economy.
Locally, it shows that year-over-year, Grays Harbor has seen a 3% loss to Total Employment and a 7.6% gain in the Unemployment Rate. Along with those changes, the total number of Basic Food or TANF participants increased since 2019, 19% and 33% respectively.
Despite these changes, the local Taxable Sales have increased by 6%, or $6 million and the Credit Card Spend increased 17%.
In Pacific County, they saw no positive changes year-over-year. The county had a 12% drop in Total Employment and a 7.1% increase to the Unemployment Rate. Taxable Retail sales remained steady, with no increase or decrease, but the Credit Card Spent dropped by 10%. Along with these changes, there was a 12% increase in Basic Food participants and a 28% increase in TANF residents.
Statewide, the dashboard shows that there were negative impacts in all areas.
The dashboard is available to the public on the Commerce website. Brown says local, regional and state leaders can more effectively focus economic recovery efforts by tracking the varying impact of the pandemic and needs through a prolonged slowdown.
The Economic Recovery Dashboard uses select data from a variety of reliable sources to display the latest available status of employment, businesses, government assistance programs and consumer behavior. It provides insight into the current impact of COVID-19, and over time, will help identify which communities or industries are recovering and which need continued support.
Commerce says that the data indicates that expanding broadband access and affordability is an economic imperative, particularly for rural and historically disadvantaged communities. High-speed internet is now essential for students to attend classes, for seniors to access their doctors and prescriptions, for workers to connect with employers and job opportunities, and businesses to keep their doors open.
Data from the dashboard, taken together with the Washington Broadband Office mapping initiative, could help guide effective policies and prioritize investments in broadband infrastructure.
Brown and Assistant Director Chris Green provided a demonstration of the new dashboard. You can view it on TVW.
Current Economic Recovery Dashboard highlights
The Economic Recovery dashboard was developed with federal CARES Act funding to provide actionable data analysis and improve understanding of where and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Washington state. The dashboard will evolve as Commerce updates the available views and data sources where possible. Data is currently updated on a monthly basis. Commerce cannot provide raw data, but sources are cited to provide more information where available.
Updates are made monthly. Work is ongoing to improve the user experience of this tool.