Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, mobility has been reduced across the state. Traveling anywhere involves an origin (generally our home) and a destination (including places such as work, hospital, grocery stores or restaurants). Last week, we explored origin- based social distancing to answer the following questions: how many people are staying at home all day long; how many hours do people stay outside if they left home; and what is the spatial distribution of each set of those people in Georgia?

This week, we introduce the Weekly Travel Pattern Dashboard that shows not only where people are going, but also which types of industry locations they are “visiting” either for shopping or for work. Note that industries are defined by NAICS code. Remember, as in previous posts, we’re using Safegraph data (to which we were generously allowed free access). These data track cell phones from a home location to other places. Safegraph then classifies those destination places into one of 20 or so industry types. The dashboard shows which industry types are experiencing the most dramatic changes in the number of visitors, as well as indicates which Zip Codes (actually, Zip Code Tabulation Areas) are being visited the most. These features can help answer the following questions: 1) which industry has experienced the most dramatic changes in the number of visitors; 2) where/to what do people go more frequently than they did pre-COVID-19; and 3) do these patterns differ by area.

There are two tabs in the dashboard. On the first tab, with both a line graph and a table, you can see the trend of the visitors over time. The second tab shows the pattern of visits, i.e. which industry or which area is affected the most, via both a scatter plot and a map.

Changes in Percent of the Visitors by Industry in Georgia (line graph, below)

  1. All industries experienced a drop in the visitors after the COVID-19 outbreak, as compared to the first week of March (the index level).
  2. The ‘Education Services’ industry experienced the largest decline. The visitors to that industry, in the third week of March, dropped to only 12 percent of the level seen in the first week of March. This decline aligns with the onset of  public school closures.  Visitors to the educational services industry, by the week of April 19th, had decreased to 8 percent of early March levels.
  3. Visitors to the ‘Construction’ industry experienced the smallest declines. The amount of visitors in the third week of April were about 87% of the levels in the first week of March. This is largely to a large share of workers in this industry needing to work “on site”.

Change in the Number of Visitors by Industry in Georgia (table, below)

  1. Although ‘Education Services’ has the most dramatic percentage declines, the ‘Accommodation and Food Services’ industry experienced the biggest drops in the total number of visitors, at a decrease of 1.4 million.
  2. Though the ‘Construction’ industry has had a fairly steady number of visitors from the first week of March until now, the pure count of visitors remains low at 3,301 in the third week of April. There just aren’t a lot of distinct spatial locations specific to the “Construction” industry.

Click here , or on the image above, to access and query the Weekly Pattern Dashboard. You can select geographies by using the drop-down menu.

Changes in Visitors in Georgia (scatter plot, below)

OK, so this is a complicated chart! The Y-axis shows the percent change in visitors, by industry, in the third week of April as compared to the first week of March. Therefore, the “zero” line represents “no change” since the first week of March– meaning that there has been no increase or decline in the number of visits in the industry. The X-axis shows the industry’s percent share of total travel in the third week of April compared to the same share in the first week of March. So in comparing the two axes, you’ll see that, while almost all industries have seen a decline in visitors (refer to the y-axis),  within that falling travel level some industries are capturing an increasingly large share of visits compared to other industries (see the X-axis).

  1. ‘Education Services’, ‘Arts and Recreation’, and ‘Accommodation and Food Services’ industries all have a large reduction in visitors compared to other industries.
  2. Although the visitors to ‘Retail Trade’ locations (which include grocery stores) have dropped 35 percent (Y-axis) since the first part of March, people are, relatively speaking, visiting a ‘Retail Trade’ destination more than they are most all other industry locations. The percent share of the travel to the ‘Retail Trade’ increased about 11 percentage points (see the X-axis).

Map of Weekly Patterns (below)

Explore the map to see the weekly mobility pattern (by NAICS code) for Zip Code Tabulation Areas.  Data provided are: total number of visitors, the percentage share of all travel represented by the visitors to a given industry that week (which shows how important the particular travel destination is to the population), and an index of travel– that shows (for a particular week) the percentage change of travel in a given industry compared to that same level in the first week of March.

Click here or on the image above to use the Weekly Pattern Dashboard. You can select geographies using the drop-down menu.

Data Source: SafeGraph