How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the economic prospects of people, businesses, and communities across the United States? Traditional economic indicators lack the timeliness and granularity needed to answer these questions rapidly. The Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker combines anonymized data from leading private companies – from credit card processors to payroll firms – to provide a real-time picture of indicators such as employment rates, consumer spending, and job postings across counties, industries, and income groups. Rather than waiting weeks to see where the economy is falling and playing catch-up, the tracker offers the capacity to spot economic problems as they emerge and develop targeted, evidence-based policy responses – providing a powerful new tool for economic policy
in the age of big data.