In this newsletter, we use a graph to show recent changes in retail sales, map a frequency analysis of the word “pandemic” over time, share some tips for playing FREDcast, and quiz you on economic data related to the pandemic.
Focus on Social Distancing and Retail Sales
This assignment provides instructions on building the graph below and includes writing prompts for out-of-class assignments.
Using GeoFRED® to Show the Global Scale of the Pandemic
This assignment provides instructions on creating the maps below and suggests prompts for in-class discussion. See how you do on our sample discussion questions below.
Discussion about Pandemics (DAP) Index
The discussion about pandemics (DAP) index measures how often the word “pandemic” appears in economic intelligence reports. Learn more here.
Click on the map above to view an interactive version
Question: Name four nations where the discussion about pandemics (DAP) index was larger than zero during the fourth quarter of 2019.
Again, click on the map above to view an interactive version
Question: Compare this map with the map above. How are they different? Name four nations where the discussion about pandemics (DAP) index was less than or equal to zero during the first quarter of 2020.
Learning About COVID-19 Economics to Forecast Changes in Employment
The pandemic has impacted employment. In April 2020, the total number of workers on payrolls decreased. Read on for more details and a list of resources to become a better FREDcast forecaster.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April (2020).”
“Employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with particularly heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality.”
Resources to become a better FREDcaster:
- FRED® Blog: “The impact of social distancing on leisure and hospitality”
- FRED® Blog: “Tracking the U.S. economy and financial markets during the COVID-19 outbreak“
- Economic Synopses: “Which Earnings Groups Have Been Most Affected by the COVID-19 Crisis?“
- Economic Synopses: “Central Bank Responses to COVID-19“
Quiz Yourself on Different Aspects of Social Distancing
Q1. As of February 2020, which were the three largest categories of non-food retail sales?
Q2. As of February 2020, what percentage of non-food retail sales did clothing and clothing accessory stores represent?
Q1. As of April 2020, which were the three largest categories of non-food retail sales?
Q2. As of April 2020, what percentage of non-food retail sales did clothing and clothing accessory stores represent?
Q1. Can you name a state where the employment in leisure and hospitality activities increased between May 2019 and May 2020?
Q2. Name the states where employment in leisure and hospitality activities decreased the most and the least between May 2019 and May 2020.
Now that you’ve aced this quiz, give it to your students using this dashboard. To customize this dashboard, just click the “Save to My Account” button at the top of the dashboard.