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  • 2020 14
    May 22, 2020

    As part of the U.S. response to COVID-19, unemployment insurance recipients are receiving increased weekly payments. For many individuals in the Fifth District, these enhanced unemployment benefits are greater than the wages they earned while at work.

    Surekha Carpenter and Laura Dawson Ullrich

    May 14, 2020

    The measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 have not only led to a sharp decline in employment and an unprecedented rise in unemployment but have negatively impacted state and local governments that depend on income and sales taxes as primary sources of revenue.

    Joseph Mengedoth and Sam Louis Taylor

    May 6, 2020

    Federal, state, and local government financial support for consumers in response to COVID-19 is widespread, but not universal. Who’s left out from existing governmental support programs?

    Surekha Carpenter and Emily Wavering Corcoran

    May 1, 2020

    Over the past several weeks, social distancing and shutdowns have impacted our economy. Fifth District firms continued to tell us how COVID-19 has affected their business operations in recent surveys.

    Joseph Mengedoth and Roisin McCord

    April 30, 2020

    Having enough hospital capacity to treat critical patients has been a major concern during the COVID-19 outbreak. What does hospital capacity look like in the Fifth Federal Reserve District, and how might rural hospital closings impact the current crisis?

    Surekha Carpenter and Tim Sablik

    April 23, 2020

    How many COVID-19 cases will there be in the coming days and months? While the Fifth District appears to be past the peak number of daily cases, a wide range of future outcomes is still possible.

    April 16, 2020

    Small-business lenders are on the front lines of financial support for small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. What are these lenders experiencing right now, and how are they working to support small businesses?

    Emily Wavering Corcoran

    April 14, 2020

    In recent weeks, unemployment insurance claims have hit record numbers. But what exactly do unemployment insurance programs cover? And what roles do states play?

    April 13, 2020

    Over the course of three weeks (from March 15 to April 4), more than 360,000 Virginians filed for unemployment. What does this mean for other employment measures and where might we see Virginia's unemployment rate go? 

    April 6, 2020

    As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the country, Americans are taking measures to distance themselves from their communities, both voluntarily and by mandate. What measures have Fifth District jurisdictions taken and what might this mean for the Fifth District economy?

    Sonya Ravindranath Waddell and Jacob Crouse

    March 24, 2020

    On March 13, 2020, the President declared a national state of emergency and by March 16, every state and the District of Columbia had declared states of emergency, all due to the rapid escalation of positive cases of COVID-19. However, Fifth District firms were reporting impacts from the virus before the emergency declarations and the initiation of social distancing mandates in states and localities across the country.

    Joseph Mengedoth and Sonya Ravindranath Waddell

    March 5, 2020

    The Crooked Road trail celebrates the cultural history of Appalachian music and arts. In 2015, it was estimated to bring $6.4 million in tourism spending to the region annually and continues to promote growth in southwest Virginia’s tourism industry today.

    Roisin McCord

    February 26, 2020

    Explore how payroll employment growth in Maryland has differed from the nation since the Great Recession in this Regional Matters article.

    February 13, 2020

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 27.7 percent of individuals worked outside their county of residence in 2018. This Regional Matters article presents data on commute times and asks: how do commute times differ for residents of rural and urban counties in the Fifth District?

    Jacob Crouse

  • 2019 12
    January 29, 2020

    College attainment differs greatly between Fifth District counties, as do unemployment rates and earnings by education level from state to state.

    Surekha Carpenter

    December 19, 2019

    Investment by community development financial institutions (CDFIs) varies by county and between urban and rural areas. Are these variations driven by differences between urban and rural CDFIs in the U.S. and the Fifth District?

    Emily Wavering Corcoran

    December 13, 2019

    A special survey on hiring and wages, conducted in November, showed that a majority of Fifth District firms expect to hire or hold payrolls steady and plan to use wage increases to attract and retain workers over the next twelve months.

    Joseph Mengedoth

    November 7, 2019

    Young adults are buying houses at lower rates than in previous generations. In the Fifth District, the gap between young and older adult homeownership rates is particularly high in rural counties. What is behind this trend?

    Sam Storey

    October 29, 2019

    The Richmond Fed conducts monthly surveys of business conditions. The information collected are aggregated and combined into several individual diffusion indices. But what kind of information do diffusion indices reveal?

    October 2, 2019

    Since 2005, 155 hospitals in rural America have closed. Eighteen of those closures were in the Fifth Federal Reserve District. Why do we see hospitals in rural areas closing at a higher rate than at any time since the mid-1980s?

    Emily Wavering Corcoran

    August 26, 2019

    Mortgages make up the majority of debt across the United States and in the Fifth District. However, the share of mortgage debt has recently fallen while student loan debt has become a larger share. Meanwhile, delinquencies for auto loans have increased in the last couple of years.

    Jacob Crouse

    July 15, 2019

    Uneven access to or use of broadband results in a digital divide. But how serious is the digital divide across the country and in the Fifth District? It depends on who you ask.

    Emily Wavering Corcoran and Sam Storey

    June 26, 2019

    Although firms in the Fifth District received approximately $129 billion in contracts from the federal government in fiscal year 2018, some of those contracts span several years or were subcontracted out. How much did firms receive after adjusting for those factors? 

    Roisin McCord

    May 15, 2019

    The labor force participation rate varies considerably across Fifth District jurisdictions, from West Virginia's 53.3 percent to the District of Columbia's 70.4 percent. What is driving the differences among jurisdictions? 

    April 18, 2019

    Recently revised payroll employment data for 2018 showed that fewer jobs were added in the Fifth District than originally reported. The largest downward revisions occurred with data for North Carolina, West Virginia, and Virginia. 

    Akbar Naqvi

    February 27, 2019

    As of December 2018, unemployment rates declined in every county and independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia from December 2017. But how do the most recent rates compare with previous lows?

    Joseph Mengedoth

  • 2018 13
    December 21, 2018

    According to a survey conducted in November 2018, many Fifth District businesses plan on increasing employment in the next year and are generally offering higher starting wages for at least some job types.

    Joseph Mengedoth

    October 30, 2018

    Although changes in educational attainment, employment status, and median earnings were inconsistent across Fifth District jurisdictions in 2017, most saw lower unemployment and higher median earnings.

    Joseph Mengedoth

    August 29, 2018

    By 2016, after the passage of the ACA and expansions to Medicaid, the share of the population with insurance increased in every state in the Fifth District. However, those improvements were not evenly distributed across states or counties and were more substantial in states where Medicaid was expanded.

    Nathan Duvall

    August 10, 2018

    In June 2018, the Richmond Fed asked its survey participants about the expected impacts of the tariffs imposed on imported steel and aluminum. While about half of the firms surveyed expected negative impacts to their own businesses and to the U.S. economy, there was a good portion of firms that believed the tariffs would be good for the overall U.S. economy, even if their firms would not directly benefit.

    Joseph Mengedoth

    July 31, 2018

    Ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, have become a force to be reckoned with in the taxi industry. While these services have run into regulatory spats with government agencies and continue to deal with company image issues, they have grown markedly, particularly in and around the Washington, D.C., metro area.

    Caitlin Dutta

    June 29, 2018

    Natural gas production has experienced tremendous growth over the last decade in the U.S. and West Virginia and continues to grow. In West Virginia, six new pipeline projects have been proposed. How will these pipelines service the natural gas market, and how long until they are in service? What has the impact been on job growth and wages?

    May 31, 2018

    In April, we surveyed firms about their adoption of technology and how it might translate into prices and employment in the next few years. Most firms reported adopting new technology, although many did not anticipate the technology to notably impact their pricing or employment decisions.

    May 9, 2018

    Charlotte, N.C., has the most diverse industrial mix of any Fifth District city, while Bennettsville, S.C., is the least diverse. This post explores the forces that lead to industry diversity in cities.

    Michael Stanley

    April 20, 2018

    Revised employment data show fewer jobs added in the Fifth District than originally reported. By December 2017 (the most recent month revised), total employment was revised lower by 75,300 jobs or 0.5 percent.

    Michael Stanley

    March 23, 2018

    December 2017 marked the 10-year anniversary of the start of the economic downturn which would ultimately evolve into the Great Recession. As bad as the Great Recession was nationally, South Carolina's descent into the trough was steeper. And its recovery has been more impressive, particularly in the Charleston and Upstate regions.

    February 28, 2018

    Beginning with the release of our February 2018 survey results, we began to report a few new variables in our Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity and Fifth District Survey of Service Sector Activity. What are they and what can they tell us?

    Roisin McCord

    February 20, 2018

    In 2016, every Fifth District jurisdiction, along with the nation, saw an increase in the share of the over-25 population with a bachelor’s degree or higher. What else changed since 2015?

    Joseph Mengedoth

    January 19, 2018

    Ten years after the housing market collapse, activity in the single-family market remains somewhat subdued. Despite rising prices and low inventories, single-family construction has increased very gradually. Are there impediments to new housing supply?

  • 2017 16
    December 21, 2017

    A November 2017 survey of Fifth District businesses found that most firms plan on increasing hiring in the next year as well as raising wages to attract and retain workers, though not for all positions.

    Michael Stanley

    December 15, 2017

    Payroll employment growth in eastern North Carolina has been more sluggish than in other parts of the state, on the whole, for the last several years. To learn more about why, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond worked with NCEast Alliance to facilitate a business and industry roundtable meeting in late October.

    November 8, 2017

    For the most part, the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on Fifth District firms were indirect and negative, although there were some businesses that reported positive economic impacts.

    Jeannette Plamp

    October 18, 2017

    The Fifth District economy – like the U.S. economy – is increasingly driven by urban areas. How can we start to understand the existence, growth, and decline of cities in the context of Richmond, Va., Charlotte, N.C., and Baltimore, Md.?

    October 3, 2017

    National Hispanic Heritage Month, which started on Sept. 15 and continues through Oct. 15, is a time to celebrate the culture, history, and accomplishments of American citizens who trace their ancestors to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The Hispanic population in the Fifth District is significant and is growing, but a look at labor market indicators provides some insight on the disparity in outcomes for the Hispanic population relative to the population overall.

    August 24, 2017

    States in the Fifth Federal Reserve District struggle with the opioid epidemic that continues to plague the nation. In fact, one state in the Fifth District—West Virginia—has some of the highest rates of drug use and opioid overdose deaths in the country.

    July 28, 2017

    The dynamics of firm creation and exit are an important engine of economic growth. Researchers have noted that there has been a slowing in business dynamics in the United States in recent decades. Is the same true for the Fifth District and our jurisdictions?

    July 7, 2017

    Which industries in the Fifth District contributed the most to real GDP in 2016? How does that compare to employment by industry and which industries generate the most output per worker?

    Joseph Mengedoth

    June 2, 2017

    The Fifth District has a disproportionately high share of federal government employment and contract dollars, and could be more heavily affected by reductions than other comparable areas. 

    Michael Stanley

    May 9, 2017

    It is generally stated, but somewhat disputed, that around 11 million unauthorized immigrants currently reside in the United States. Why is it important to know more about the size and characteristics of the unauthorized population? And what role should different levels of governments play in enforcing immigration laws?

    April 14, 2017

    Getting outdoors is healthy for individuals, and it is also healthy for the nation and the Fifth District. How large is the economic impact and who measures it?

    Lauren Schutjer

    March 22, 2017

    While increased global integration required painful adjustments for some workers and communities as well as companies and even entire industries, there have also been significant benefits to this global interconnectedness, including in the Carolinas.

    March 3, 2017

    After the severity of the Great Recession, how has the Garrett County economy progressed? How has the labor market improved? Has business activity stabilized?

    February 24, 2017

    For the past few years, businesses in the Fifth District have expressed concerns over a growing skills mismatch in the local labor force. As a result, some firms have turned to apprenticeship programs to address their needs. 

    Audrey Polk

    January 23, 2017

    On Jan. 18, the Board of Governors released the most recent installment of the Beige Book report. With this report comes a new design. What changes can you expect, and why now?

    Joseph Mengedoth

    January 13, 2017

    This post takes a look at the current state of educational attainment across jurisdictions and highlights some of the information available in new reports published by the Richmond Fed.

    Michael Stanley

  • 2016 17
    December 21, 2016

    Earlier this year, we reported the results of a special survey on hiring and wages. A similar survey was conducted in November ... the results are in.

    Joseph Mengedoth

    December 5, 2016

    The qualitative data conveyed through surveys, or gathered at roundtable meetings with business firms or our own Bank directors are very valuable pieces of information. However, summarizing and extracting meaning out of this information are very challenging tasks. So how can we make sense out of this information?

    November 18, 2016

    The Richmond Fed publishes a series of diffusion indices based off of surveys of manufacturing and service sector firms across the Fifth District. These indices help us to understand business conditions in our region in a timely and more comprehensive way.

    November 7, 2016

    There has been a dramatic change in the energy sector in recent decades. With lower prices, what is the outlook going forward? What has the impact been on West Virginia, the Fifth District’s largest energy producer?

    October 19, 2016

    In 2015, nearly 4 million Virginia residents commuted to work; however, the means of transportation and average commute time varied substantially by location.

    Michael Stanley

    September 30, 2016

    Income has been growing, but many households have not fully recovered from the recession. Income inequality persists at the national level and varies by state and metro area within the Fifth District.

    September 13, 2016

    Manufacturing accounted for 9.6 percent of total private sector employment and 11.8 percent of total output in the Fifth District in 2015. What kind of things are produced in the District? Where? And what are the values of those goods?

    Joseph Mengedoth

    August 24, 2016

    Virginia gained jobs at a brisk pace during 2015, but the pace slowed during the first five months of 2016 and has only recently picked up again. Employment growth by industry and by metro area varies substantially. 

    August 5, 2016

    The United States' top three trade partners are China, Canada, and Mexico. Many of the Fifth District jurisdictions also trade extensively with these nations. What goods are being exported? And what other countries are top trade partners with Fifth District states? 

    Kanitta Kulprathipanja

    July 18, 2016

    The Fifth District labor market was hit hard during the recession. The recovery was slow. Which industry sectors were hit the hardest and how have they fared since? Which sectors have grown the fastest?

    June 29, 2016

    A look at the educational attainment in the Carolinas may yield clues as to how well the region will adjust to technological disruptions. 

    June 20, 2016

    How much have mortgage markets improved in recent months, and how do current foreclosure and forfeiture rates compare to before the housing crisis?

    Joseph Mengedoth

    June 8, 2016

    There are 12 Federal Reserve Banks across the country: How did one land in Richmond, Virginia?

    May 27, 2016

    In May, the Richmond Fed added questions to our regular monthly surveys to explore employer opinions on hiring, employee retention, and wage plans.

    Aileen Watson

    May 20, 2016

    A brief update on the state of the craft brewing industry in the Fifth District.

    Joseph Mengedoth

    May 9, 2016

    Job opportunities for workers with different skill levels have changed in recent decades. Which skill sets are most in demand? What do wages look like for these professions?

    May 9, 2016

    In this new web series, we will focus on topics and data related to urban and regional economic issues, particularly those that are important to areas within the Fifth Federal Reserve District.

    Joseph Mengedoth

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