Main Street health: How did businesses fare in March?

National view

Consistent with what we saw in mid-February, Homebase’s three key Main Street Health Metrics continued to show a positive trend compared to January of 2022.
Volatility in our Main Street Health Metrics, however, is still
elevated compared to the pre-pandemic period, as indicated in the graph below.

State and regional view

In most regions and states, hours worked in mid-March 2022 were modestly lower than the hours worked in mid-February 2022. Declines were largely attributable to challenging comparisons as mid-February 2022 was particularly strong as the economy emerged and bounced back from Omicron.
Similarly, most top 50 MSAs saw a month-over-month decrease in employees
working and hours worked. These decreases are largely attributable to the notable
strength observed in these measures in mid-February given the bounce-back from
Omicron.

 

Industry view

As Omicron faded and people sought recreation and amusement outside the home, hours worked by employees increased in entertainment, food & drink, and hospitality. Hospitality showed notable strength as it outperformed the corresponding period in 2019.

 

How has Homebase data been validated?

We’ve partnered with a number of academics, researchers, and policymakers to validate and improve our data. Here are a few examples:

  • The St. Louis Federal Reserve suggested that Homebase data could be predictive of the jobs reports
  • Researchers at Drexel used Homebase data to estimate the “true” employment level
  • A team at UChicago and Berkeley used Homebase data to show disparate impacts across different groups

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