Brookings Measures Virus Toll on Youngstown MSA

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The economic toll of the pandemic in the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman metropolitan area is illustrated by a new index released today by the Brookings Institution, which examined nearly 200 metro areas across the county.

Among the metrics measured were unemployment, job postings and job mobility. Brookings senior fellow Alan Berube compiled data from various statistical sources into a “metro recovery index” that includes an interactive dashboard.

In the Youngstown MSA, unemployment soared to 20.4% in April, then fell to 15.9% in May, the Brookings index noted.

The local MSA consists of Mahoning, Trumbull counties in Ohio and Mercer County in Pennsylvania.

The Cleveland-Elyria MSA recorded similar numbers with the unemployment rate reaching 20.2% in April, falling to 16.9% in May.

From the outset of the pandemic in February, the total number of jobs in the Youngstown MSA fell 14.7%, from 213,800 to 182,400 in May, the report finds.

In Cleveland, total jobs fell from 1.079 million in February to 906,200 in May, down 16%. Job postings were down 9.8% from February, according to the index.

By comparison, the unemployment rate in the Columbus MSA was 14.1% in April, falling to 11.2% in May. Job postings actually increased 3% from February.

Using Google Mobility Reports data, the report measured average percent change in visits to workplaces from the baseline five-week period of Jan. 3 to Feb. 6. In the Youngstown MSA, during April mobility to workplaces was down 41%, 30% in May and 22% in June.

Brookings also used data from to examine the active for-sale home listings within the local MSA. The percent change from June 2019 is 40%, according to the study. In January there were 1,499 listings; in June there were 994. The median list price, however, increased 3.9%, rising from $119,950 in January to $129,950 in June.

Active for-sale home listings declined 32.7% from June 2019 with the median list price rising 2.3% in June, up to $332,550.

CLICK HERE to access the full Metro Recovery Index.

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