Midwest Economy Blog
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By Katherine Bennett, David Oppedahl       September 7, 2022

On September 28–29, 2022, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research will cohost a conference called Creating Conversations on the Challenges and Opportunities Facing Rural Economic Development in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ahead of this event, we provide a primer on how some governmental institutions define rural and related terminology to help establi... Read More

By Martin Lavelle, Elizabeth Kepner       July 7, 2022

In this blog post, our primary aim is to examine whether and how moving patterns between states, metropolitan areas, and other locations across the U.S. have changed since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Using migration data from United Van Lines,1 we compare migration patterns in 2018 and 2019, before the pandemic started within the U.S., with those in 2020 and 2... Read More

By Rick Mattoon       May 16, 2022

During the pandemic the federal government provided multiple rounds of fiscal support for state and local governments, businesses, and households. One of the larger packages came from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. Enacted on March 11, 2021, ARPA provides $1.9 trillion in total funding, with $350 billion in support for state and local governments. In this blog post, I outline the s... Read More

By Levi Bognar, Thomas Walstrum       May 12, 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a massive worldwide economic shock. Within the United States, no region was spared. The state with the smallest employment decline at the beginning of the pandemic—Wyoming—still lost 9% of its workers from January through April of 2020. Moreover, there were six states—Hawaii, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont—that saw employment drop by over 20... Read More

By Nicholas Kumamoto, Thomas Walstrum       February 22, 2022

When analyzing an area’s economic growth, economists commonly classify the determinants of growth as being either cyclical or structural. A cyclical factor plays out over a short period of time and typically has a small effect beyond then. In contrast, a structural factor can affect an area’s growth over many years or even decades. The Covid-19 pandemic is largely a cyclical event that has domina... Read More

By May Tysinger, Thomas Walstrum       January 10, 2022

The Seventh District (and the nation) experienced strong growth during 2021 as the economy recovered from the pandemic recession. But the ebbs and flows of the pandemic continue to hold sway over the pace of economic activity and prevented a complete recovery. The labor market tightened considerably over the year, while supply chain constraints held back growth in manu... Read More

By May Tysinger, Thomas Walstrum       August 24, 2021

At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many workplaces in the U.S. were closed (either voluntarily or by government order) to limit the spread of the virus. Some of these workplaces, such as factories, reopened within a few months. Yet many other workplaces remained closed, and the vast majority of their employees continued to perform their tasks off-site. The... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       May 7, 2021

The recession and recovery resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic are unprecedented for a number of reasons. The abrupt, sharp drop in real GDP was larger than in any recession since the Great Depression. With the closure of non-essential businesses at the onset of the pandemic, the unemployment rate rose to never before seen levels. As non-essential businesses and secto... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       January 12, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a worldwide economic downturn. While the decline in economic activity has been substantial everywhere, within the U.S., the magnitudes of both the initial downturn and ongoing recovery have varied by state. In this blog post, I review the employment experiences of U.S. states since the onset of the pandemic, and I pay special attention to states in the Federal... Read More

By Jada Houser, Thomas Walstrum       June 25, 2020

In late May 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago collaborated with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) to conduct a survey on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses affiliated with either of these two organizations. The survey was based on the methodology of the broader Chicago Fed Survey of Business Conditio... Read More

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