The Partnership’s research team outlines four crucial indicators to watch in order to monitor and estimate the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

In a special edition of the metro Orlando Market Overview, the Partnership research team analyzes select, high-frequency indicators* that will signal worsening or better outcomes for the region. The signs of a deepening recession or the beginning of a recovery will appear in these indicators before they are seen in a wider set of data sources.

These metrics will be updated on a monthly basis by the research team, so bookmark this story and check back every month for the latest numbers.

*Lags in data collection and publishing mean that many economic indicators will not begin to quantify the effects of a COVID-19 recession on the Orlando region until Q3 2020 and beyond.

High Frequency Indicators to Watch

Unemployment RateNew Claims for Unemployment InsuranceMonth to Month Job ChangeAirport Passengers, MCO
Rate of Change+12pp MoM 75% MoM-13.8% MoM-47.4% YoY
MonthAprilMay 8Mar-AprilMarch

Sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FL DEO), Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA)

Term Definitions:

  • MoM = Month-over-month
  • YoY = Year-over-year

Key Takeaways: May 2020

  1. Impacts will be widespread and not contained to the travel and leisure industries. Professional and business services employment has been particularly hard-hit in Orlando.
  2. No industry grew in employment from month‐to‐month, which signals the farreaching economic impacts of this crisis. Orange County sets the pace for MSA overall.
  3. The unemployment rate exceeds the nation and is higher than anything seen during the 2008 recession. Expect the high rate to remain with the release of May data in June but decrease in June and July data as tourism slowly returns throughout the Summer.
  4. Watch high-frequency indicators such as airport passenger counts and hotel occupancy rates for signs of returning consumer confidence. Depth of the economic impacts will depend on safely reopening and changing consumer behavior.

1. Unemployment Rate

Preliminary Data for April 2020, NSA

unemployment april 2

Note: May data for Orlando will not be released until June 19.

2. New Claims for Unemployment Insurance

United States, 2019 – April 25, 2020

new claims april US 4

Florida, 2019 – May 9, 2020

new claims april FL 6

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Orlando MSA, March 7 – May 9, 2020

Orlando New Claims April 8

Next Update: Data released weekly by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

3. Month to Month Job Change – By Industry

Month Change in Seasonal Employment, March – April 2020 (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

MoM Job Change April 10

Next Update: May data released June 19

4. Orlando International Airport (MCO) Passengers

Monthly Total Passengers, MCO

image 6 12
Source: Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

March Passengers, (YoY Change)

Domestic: 2.2 M (-46.5%)
International: 0.3 M (-53.6%)
TOTAL: 2.5 M (-47.4%)