Southern California Economic Stress Tracker
Published May 12, 2020
About this project
In the wake of the coronavirus becoming more widespread, our managing editor wanted a way to tell the story of the economic fallout caused by the pandemic. We had heard for months about the growing number of cases and death tolls and restrictions imposed on everyday life via stay-at-home mandates. Now, a few months into this new “normal,” she wanted a way to quantify what we had lost in terms of the economy which had been grinded to a halt as businesses shuttered, millions of people lost their jobs and many more had thier hours drastically reduced.
The tracker was intended to be an at-a-glance way to look at how different areas of the economy, such as the workforce and city government, were dealing with the massive changes and how they were impacting people. The idea at first was to look at L.A.'s “new economy,” but when we realized how much this story resonated regionally, we wanted to expand it. I'm in the process of expanding the tracker to include cities within Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Kern counties. As more economic indicators are able to tell the story of how the pandemic changed things, I'll be adding them to the tracker as well.