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Eye on the Economy: An Interactive Look at Maryland and the Regional Economy in April 2020

Interactive Look at Maryland and the Regional Economy

• The most recent jobs report showed that between March and April, Maryland lost a total of 349,300 Total Nonfarm jobs.

• The largest loss was experienced in Leisure and Hospitality, which lost 120,000 jobs.

• The official unemployment rate for Maryland spiked to 9.9 percent.

Pulse surveys

Prepare for long term success

Artwork by Loring Boglioli: 21 Zippers

Now that Maryland is in Stage One of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders are facing a huge challenge—reopening. While it’s up the government of when, the question of how should include input from employees. Now more than ever, traditional understandings and assumptions of employee needs will not suffice—long term organizational success may rest upon an accurate understanding of “the new normal.” The Regional Economic Studies Institute is here to help organizations "check the pulse" of their workforce.

RESI in the News

Industry officials: Deregulation helps freight industry thrive without federal bailout
The Center Square, 05/24/2020
While many industries have received federal stimulus money to prevent bankruptcies and reduce layoffs, the Class I freight industry has neither received nor asked for any federal money during the current crisis. Analysts argue that this is due to earlier deregulation of the industry, which has allowed it to avoid the need for assistance despite a significant decline in shipments and revenue. The article notes that a 2017 study from RESI found that the industry “supported over 1.1 million jobs, $219.5 billion in economic output, and $71.3 billion in wages, while also creating nearly $26 billion in total tax revenue.”

From packed house to curbside pickup: Coronavirus quiets Gordon Ramsay boost to Ellicott City businesses
The Baltimore Sun, 05/20/2020 
Two weeks ago, the anticipated episode of “24 Hours to Hell and Back” aired on television, featuring Gordon Ramsay working to renovate and revitalize multiple locations on Ellicott City’s historic Main Street. Normally, this type of feature would immediately result in a significant increase in business for the restaurants involved. While that has been true to some extent, the benefit has been limited by the current restrictions brought about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. RESI Chief Economist Daraius Irani notes that the timing could not be worse for the businesses, stating that due to social distancing measures, “The impact of the makeover is somewhat dissipated because the boom of customers can’t come in.”

Some Maryland businesses are preparing to reopen. But don’t expect the economy to bounce back quickly.
The Baltimore Sun, 05/09/2020 
Some businesses in Maryland are getting the go-ahead to reopen, albeit with restrictions on capacity and customer traffic. Even aside from those restrictions, many businesses worry that customers will be hesitant to immediately return. In addition, the reopening process is likely to be slow and piecemeal, as only specific industries and businesses are given permission to open their doors. However, RESI Chief Economist Daraius Irani says that even small steps to reopen could have larger impacts on Maryland businesses. For example, the first major step occurred with the reopening of beaches, golf courses, and other outdoor activities. Dr. Irani notes that this will increase demand for fuel and sandwiches from boaters who previously were trapped on-shore. As retailers and restaurants reopen, they will also bring business back to other companies that provide business-to-business supplies and services.

Baltimore-area governments are weighing big cuts as they brace for a collapse in revenues due to coronavirus
The Baltimore Sun, 05/01/2020 
Much like other jurisdictions nationwide, Baltimore County is anticipating a significant budget shortfall as a result of the economic shutdown associated with the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, local governments are spending millions of dollars to provide protective equipment to employees and provide emergency pay. With these issues, governments are being forced to consider hiring freezes, pay cuts, and possible layoffs. RESI Chief Economist Daraius Irani notes that Maryland did not lose a significant number of local government jobs during the Great Recession, although there was a hiring freeze that ended a long period of local government expansion.

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