Washington state has unveiled a new interactive data tool to examine COVID-19’s impact on the struggling economy.
The tool — an economic recovery dashboard developed with federal funding from the CARES Act — will visualize data from public and private organizations and track the state’s recovery efforts across different industries and demographics, according to a statement from the Department of Commerce. The data will be updated monthly. While the dashboard contains some “traditional economic data,” such as employment, business income and investment activity in the state, it also looks at how people are experiencing the economic downturn, such as the number of Washingtonians accessing food assistance. Department Director Lisa Brown said that she’s hoping the tool could help guide state and local leaders as they work toward full economic recovery.
As of Sept. 9, Washington’s unemployment rate was at 10.2%, according to the dashboard. The state’s employment decline is about 30% greater than the lowest point of the Great Recession. The dashboard is also showing an additional 100,000 people have signed up for food or temporary cash assistance since February, with larger increases in Central Washington, Spokane and the Tri-Cities. (Seattle Times)