Local, state, and national indicators showing the relative health of the Puget Sound economy
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is not fully reflected in first quarter data, as much of the quarter occurred before protective measures were implemented. Since the start of Q2, though, there have been several pieces of data that paint a picture of the Puget Sound economy as it currently stands. Initial claims for unemployment insurance shows how many people are newly seeking unemployment benefits, which means that it does not consider continuing claims for people who have not been re-employed. For weeks that ended in April, the state of Washington saw a 2,099% increase in claims compared to the same period last year, with 533,344 claims compared to 24,257 claims in 2019. There were 429 construction permits pulled in April for single-family dwellings during the month, which is a 44% decline from March. The yield on 10-Year US Treasuries, however, began noticeably declining in January and is down 24.4% since March. Livability, relative affordability, and a diverse industry-base will ensure the region’s economic vitality in the long-run, but until employees are allowed to return to the office and economic recovery begins, indicators will continue to show a struggling market.