FIU tracks economic recovery

Florida International University recently announced that researchers have created a tool that tracks South Florida’s recovery from the pandemic.

The researchers at the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center created the monthly COVID Economic Recovery Index, tracking tri-county indicators in health, housing and the economy and comparing them to state and national statistics. Health indicators include the rates of COVID infection, death and vaccination; economic indicators include the unemployment rate, first-time unemployment claims, job postings and job loss/gain; housing indicators include foreclosures, evictions and sales activity. The categories receive a score out of 100, with higher scores showing “a more positive recovery.”

According to a release, the tool helps ” local policymakers and economic and community development officials in strategy and program development.” For example, the numbers show that the economy declined in April and July and again in October.

“The impact of COVID-19 on our region is unprecedented,” said Ned Murray, associate director of the Jorge M. Pérez FIU Metropolitan Center, in the release. “We hope to quantify the impact of the pandemic through this index and guide policymakers in their decisions during the economic recovery.”

The researchers will present the tool on Feb. 17 during a webinar. Starting in April, FIU will offer a quarterly COVID-19 Economic Recovery: Behind the Numbers report with an analysis on the figures. The university plans to analyze other Florida counties as well.

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