The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) pivoted remarkably well to offer a virtual conference earlier this month for over 250 economic and workforce development researchers.  Smart Incentives was pleased to participate in the State Researchers Roundtable addressing small business survival and support for the remote workforce. Ellen Harpel also presented a session addressing the role for workforce development in the gig economy.

C2ER has prepared a set of keynote address summaries that we are pleased to share below. Please follow the headline links for the full articles. 

Assessing the Economic Damage of COVID-19

By Ellen Schenk

It will take a long time for people to feel comfortable consuming and for businesses to return to normal operations. While the recession was the shortest in history, the effects will last for years to come. This was Dr. Mark Zandi’s message at the C2ER/LMI Institute (Virtual) Annual Conference Economic Outlook Keynote, Assessing the Economic Damage. 

Tracking the Impact of COVID-19 on Businesses

By Chelsea Thomson

The keynote session on the third day of the C2ER conference demonstrated how insight from businesses on the ground, coupled with high level data, help us to better understand the direct impact of COVID-19 while shining a light on the innovative strategies businesses are adopting to survive. Data is key to understand the real time challenges the pandemic has and will bring as well as the innovative ways businesses are adapting.During this keynote session, Christine Chmura, Cathy Buffington, Eric Canada, Drew Conrad, and Bart Watson shared crucial data collection and analysis they are working on to shed light onto the business impact. 

Federal Partners Panel: An Update from Agency Leaders

By Rosa Lee

New data on job openings and labor turnover at the metro level could result if BLS gets its proposed funding increase, said Commissioner William Beach of the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the first virtual C2ER/LMI Institute Annual Conference on June 5. 

Speaking on a panel with Dr. Mary Bohman, Acting Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and Dr. Ron Jarmin, Deputy Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, Dr. Beach noted that BLS has released some experimental data from JOLTS at the state level and hopes to expand its sample to provide more granular data. The three agency directors discussed: 1) their current budget situation, 2) COVID-19 impacts their agencies, 3) data quality concerns, and 4) agency product and process innovations with Dr. Michael Horrigan, CEO of the Upjohn Institute, who moderated the discussion.

The Urgency for Real Time Data

By Ellen Schenk

More real time labor market and workforce information can inform both the COVID response and recovery, addressing reopening and retraining policies. Traditional data sources are often published with a time lag, and new sources of data are needed to understand the rapid change and to move forward with more timely and accurate projection of trends.

As administrative resources, web-scraping, and data visualization tools make for an increased ability to deliver high-quality and real-time data, customers will benefit from new insights. The presenters agreed that the movement toward real-time data could help people make smart decisions, identify trends, and in a time of a global pandemic, be an important component of policies and economic recovery.

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