Chicago Fed Insights
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By Jane Dokko, Jung Sakong       September 4, 2020

The severe and prolonged economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have stressed the earnings of tens of millions of households. The pandemic has also widened the racial disparities in health and economic outcomes for Black and Latinx families. And the existing social safety net has not provided sufficient cash and in-kind transfers to support families dealing with the impacts of surgin... Read More

By Andy Polacek       August 26, 2020

After the third straight “wettest May on record” for Chicago, if you’re a Chicagoan you may be wondering if your home is at risk for serious flooding. One way to figure this out might be to look at the flood maps provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the federal agency in charge of national disaster preparedness and relief. FEMA flood maps say that only 0.3% of proper... Read More

By Lisa Camner McKay       August 25, 2020

Iowa, like every U.S. state, has been challenged by the sudden health and economic crises caused by Covid-19. Then on August 10, a severe storm with winds exceeding 100-mph swept across the state, damaging crops and leaving hundreds of thousands of residents without power. To discuss Iowa’s road to recovery, the Chicago Fed’s Project Hometown hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday, August 18, w... Read More

By Lisa Camner McKay       August 21, 2020

On Monday, August 17, the Chicago Fed’s Project Hometown convened a panel of experts to discuss the past failure and future promise of transportation, urban planning, and architecture to deliver an equitable quality of life across Chicago. Like many cities, Chicago embodies a “tale of two cities: on the one hand, a thriving, glamorous downtown, and on the other hand, the South and West ... Read More

By Sam Schulhofer-Wohl       August 17, 2020

The Federal Reserve has deployed a wide array of emergency lending facilities in response to the economic crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic. By regulation, lending facilities created under the Fed's emergency powers are “backstops,” charging a penalty interest rate that encourages borrowers to obtain funds in the market when possible. Perhaps as a result, as figure 1 shows, many of the Fed facilitie... Read More

By Lisa Camner McKay       August 14, 2020

On Monday, August 10, the Chicago Fed convened a community forum of business, labor, and education leaders as part of its Project Hometown initiative to consider the challenges facing Chicago's workforce amidst the health and economic crises triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. In his opening remarks, Charlie Evans, president and CEO of the Chicago Fed, noted that the current economic situ... Read More

By Lisa Camner McKay       August 7, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to in-person education. To discuss the challenges facing Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Fed convened a panel of expert practitioners and researchers as part of its Project Hometown initiative on Monday, August 3. The panel explored the needs of different student populations, while encouraging education leaders to use this disruption t... Read More

By Scott A. Brave, Ross Cole       August 5, 2020

In a previous blog post, we described several indexes produced by the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York and showed how they could be used to measure the decline in U.S. economic activity in the spring of 2020. Here, we show how they can now be used to track the subsequent recovery. On June 8, 2020, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) issued a state... Read More

By Lisa Camner McKay       August 3, 2020

The Chicago Fed's Project Hometown initiative hosted a panel discussion on Wednesday, July 29, that brought together practitioners and researchers to explore the challenges faced by Chicago's minority neighborhoods. Panelists discussed how these communities can recover from both long-standing inequities as well as the current pandemic, restoring their status as vital and vibrant communities on Ch... Read More

By Scott A. Brave, R. Andrew Butters, Michael Fogarty       July 7, 2020

In a previous Chicago Fed Insights blog post, we took a closer look at what drives the correlation between Google Trends unemployment topic indexes1 and state initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims at the U.S. metro area level. We found that the positive correlation between Google search intensity for unemployment-related terms and the rate of UI take-up during the Covid-19 pandemic was p... Read More

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