A DIAGNOSIS OF CHARLOTTE'S COVID ECONOMY
Charlotte Magazine|December 2020
Business Alliance digests data that illustrates how virus has swamped commerce
GREG LACOUR

WHAT WE REFER TO AS “the economy,” as if it were a single entity that’s either healthy or sick, is easy to gauge if you think of it as a synonym for the stock market; just check the ticker. The true state of the economy is harder to measure. State unemployment numbers, for example, count people who have filed for benefits. They don’t include those whose benefits have run out, or who have given up on finding work. As with COVID cases, authorities have no way of knowing your condition until you report it to someone who tracks the numbers.

Since mid-March, a consortium of Charlotte-area governments, nonprofits, and companies have taken part in a Charlotte Regional Business Alliance data analysis that tries to clear away the confusion. The project aims to present a fuller, more nuanced picture of our area’s economy under the coronavirus: in manufacturing, tourism, unemployment, consumer spending, and other areas. The CRBA issues a daily digest of COVID-related workplace information and maintains a portal and dashboard on its website (charlotteregion.com; click on “COVID-19 portal” in the upper right corner) with data it regularly updates.

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