COVID-19 Impacts and Inclusive Industry Growth Opportunities
In this multifaceted project for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), Mass Economics combined a people- and place-based opportunity cluster analysis with a robust assessment of the impacts of COVID-19 on the Phoenix region. After evaluating economic trends and strengths in the region, Mass Economics performed a cluster analysis that assessed job growth trends, strengths, job quality (wages, on-the-job training, wages for those with lower levels of educational attainment), job accessibility (education requirements), and diversity and inclusion in order to identify 8-10 inclusive opportunity clusters for greater Phoenix residents. Informed by zoning, land use, socioeconomic, and micro-level (point) economic data and conversations with GPEC and planning staff from local municipalities, Mass Economics identified and developed profiles for 10 major employment corridors throughout the region. Then, utilizing the most current (monthly) economic data available, Mass Economics assessed the local economic impacts of COVID-19 by industry and cluster. By synthesizing multiple datasets, Mass Economics was able to quantify the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on MBEs, WBEs, and BIPOC workers and spatialize estimated economic impacts across the 10 major employment corridors. Based on UDP data, interviews with local business owners and industry experts, and qualitative research, detailed profiles and immediate-to-short term strategies in response to COVID-19 were developed for each of the opportunity clusters, along with a number of crosscutting, industry-agnostic strategies as well. As part of this work, Mass Economics identified clusters in need of immediate stabilization (e.g., the food cluster) and clusters undergoing rapid (or dramatically increased) transformation due to the Coronavirus. In addition to the comprehensive presentation and annotated data workbooks, future economic data updates will be provided to allow GPEC to track and monitor its progress towards implementing the identified strategies to support inclusive economic growth in the region in the coming months.