The City Economic Recovery Tracker: Week of January 18

Editor’s Note: Below is the Week 6 version of the City Economic Recovery Tracker (CERT), originally released on January 22, 2021. Visit the CERT home page for the latest data.

The five cities on the Investopedia City Economic Recovery Tracker (CERT) all faltered in their economic recovery in the week ending Jan. 9, signaling that the U.S. economic recovery is slowing as the United States battles a second wave of cases of COVID-19 after the holidays. . Los Angeles continues to struggle with outdoor dining restrictions and a high rate of COVID-19 cases, while New York City faces high levels of unemployment.

Despite its overall weekly decline of six points, Houston is still seeing the strongest recovery with a score of 57. Houston and Columbus are the only two cities halfway to pre-pandemic levels. New York saw the biggest overall weekly change with a drop of 14 points, joining Los Angeles and Chicago in last place with a score of 36.

New York sees a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases

Rates of COVID-19 cases among the five cities have been flat or rising, with steady increases in New York City, placing it second among the five cities with an average of 66 new cases per 100,000 population. New York City has reported 551,000 cases of COVID-19 and 26,331 deaths as of January 22.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles saw its case rate plateau, although it continued to have the highest case rate with an average of 142 new cases per 100,000 people during the week of Jan. 9. Los Angeles County has reported 1.05 million cases of COVID-19 and 14,641 deaths. to January 22. And Chicago and Columbus’ case rates saw a small week-over-week rise after a month of declines. The coming weeks will be critical in telling whether this increase in cases materializes into a trend or is just a weekly aberration.

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Vaccine distribution is well advanced with 37.96 million vaccines distributed and 17.55 million vaccines administered nationwide to date, according to the CDC. President Joe Biden’s proposal US rescue plan hopes to subsidize COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs across the United States, contributing $160 billion to pay for a national vaccination program that includes increased testing for COVID-19 and making more protective equipment and supplies, among other things.

Chicago and Columbus face highest unemployment rates

Unemployment claim rates in the five cities were mixed, with rates up in New York and Chicago and down in Los Angeles, Houston and Columbus. Nevertheless, rates for Chicago and Columbus are still two to three times higher than other CERT cities.

Future jobless claims will largely depend on the extent of potential future shutdowns in the five cities and how quickly vaccine distribution and development can take place. The Biden administration has offered to distribute an additional $1,400 in stimulus checks to Americans to help offset the economic burden facing individuals across the country, in addition to $400 in weekly unemployment checks through next September. .

Almost all cities have faced reservation declines

Nearly every CERT city faced a drop in restaurant reservations in the week of Jan. 9, with Chicago and Columbus wiping out most of their gains from the previous two weeks. Los Angeles, meanwhile, continued to see its restaurant index score zero as the city’s outdoor dining ban continued.

Despite the universal declines, Houston and Columbus are still more than half of early March 2020 levels. However, the restaurant industry continues to struggle across the country as colder weather and rising rates of COVID-19 deters customers. A lack of help has only exacerbated the problem, restaurateurs say. More than 100,000 restaurants have closed due to COVID-19 across the country.

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Transit scores continue to drop

Transit numbers fell week-over-week in all cities for the week ending Jan. 9, marking the second consecutive week of decline. Columbus and Houston lead the standings with indexes of 63 and 69, respectively, and are doing significantly better than Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, which are less than halfway through the recovery.

Biden’s U.S. bailout includes $20 billion for the transit industry, meant to relieve “the hardest-hit transit agencies” across the country. This will be in addition to the $14 billion the federal government has already set aside in the second stimulus package to help struggling transit agencies nationwide.

Small businesses see declines

The Small Business Index, a former CERT bright spot, recorded declines for every city in the week to Jan. 9. Columbus saw the smallest decline of five points, while the other cities saw declines of between nine and 15 points each. Columbus tops the leaderboard with a score of 75 and a score of 72, while New York is bottom of the leaderboard with a score of 53.

The Biden administration has allocated $440 billion of its US bailout to communities, including grants and loans for small businesses.

Donated by Amanda Morelli/Adrian Nesta. Additional reporting by Elana Dure.

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