Our January 2021 regional snapshot presents a detailed look at public health and economic indicators from the “pandemic era” and beyond. The apparent positive trends of late summer and early fall have ebbed away and a new wave of cases (and resultant economic crisis) has arisen.  Key points are:

• Atlanta has already been thru two “peaks” of COVID cases, and a new surge is happening right now.
• The virus dictates the pace of the economic recovery –140,000 jobs were lost in December nationally.
• Employment levels in almost all industry sectors are still well below their pre-pandemic levels.
• Metro Atlanta has suffered economically but not as much as some other large metros. Remote work in Atlanta is helping cushion the economic fall, but most of the pain is being borne by low- income and minority workers
• Only 10% of small businesses are indicating a return to normal.
• Most economists have been revising their forecasts to show a quicker immediate recovery (particularly for some segments of the economy), but a longer slog (than previously forecast) to broader recovery.
• This enmeshed public health and economic crisis has exposed structural weaknesses in our economy–that result in persons of color and women suffering the greatest negative impacts.

For (much) more, click through the slides below or download the Regional Snapshot: What We Know (or Think We Know) About the Pandemic.

As is typical in this ever-changing crisis, new data will be available soon and may enhance “the picture”.  As mentioned above, national data for December 2020 point to a 140,000 job loss, and regional information for December is coming out soon.  Even more recent releases indicate that unemployment insurance claims in our state and metro are rising again–at the highest rates since the peaks of the pandemic in April of 2020. Watch this blog for new posts on regional job trends and UI trends by sector.