The Minnesota Chamber Foundation launched an economic dashboard today, aimed at providing real-time updates on Minnesota’s economy as the state begins to recover from the shock of COVID-19. This online portal offers indicators and analysis of employment and income, business recovery and consumer and business spending.

“Minnesota’s economy suffered a great shock with COVID-19,” said Susan Marvin, Chair of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation’s Board of Directors and Chair of the Board at Marvin. “It’s important to analyze these data to better understand the impact of the virus and subsequent executive orders, so businesses can move toward recovery.”

Initial takeaways include:

• Minnesota’s unemployment is lower than the nation’s and has rebounded slightly since the easing of the stay-at-home order as many laid off or furloughed workers have been brought back.

• Unemployment remains high in regions most impacted by social distancing and government interventions, such as tourist areas in northern Minnesota that rely on hospitality.

• Minnesota’s employment is disproportionately concentrated in health care, manufacturing, corporate headquarters, and finance and insurance. These sectors are of outsized importance in Minnesota’s economy.

• “Foot traffic” has increased in outdoor spaces, sports and hardware. This could be due to stay-at-home orders, which decreased the availability of in-person activities and retail. These data are aggregated from smart phone apps, anonymized for privacy protection and then summarized by percentage change from baseline periods.

“Understanding the unique strengths of Minnesota’s economy means understanding unique metrics,” said Doug Loon, President of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to tracking a number of indicators as a barometer of Minnesota’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery and long-term success.”

Dashboard data were compiled with the help of eIMPACT, a firm that specializes in economic data and software, based in Portland, Ore.

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