New Dept. of Commerce service informs leaders on planning, tracking economic recovery amid pandemic

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The State Department of Commerce launched a data tool for local and regional leaders, designed to help plan and monitor COVID-19 recovery efforts across Washington.

This ‘Economic Recovery Dashboard‘ was funded through CARES Act funding and provides data on industry, employment, consumer behavior and government assistance programs; all of which should help leaders chart a well-informed path to economic recovery from the pandemic.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 on individuals, families and businesses is like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” said Commerce Director, Lisa Brown. “The depth and complexity of the challenge we’re dealing with demands that we use data in new ways to help every family, every community and every industry get back on their feet, stronger and more resilient than before.”

The data will continue to track what areas of the economy have recovered, and by extension, which ones would still need care as new policies are introduced.

With this new service comes interesting metrics.

According to the Dashboard, Washington’s employment rate has declined so sharply that it is 30-percent greater than the lowest point of the Great Depression. Even still, there has been steady job growth since May.

Construction has regained 80-percent of lost jobs as of June, yet hospitality has only recovered 33-percent.

Additionally, 100,000 people statewide have signed up for food or temporary assistance since February—the majority of whom are central Washington, Spokane and Tri-Cities residents.