CEDBR releases JSU’s economic report

Photo courtesy of the CEDBR 202 annual report

Emily Ford, Correspondent

The quarterly economic update for the 11-county region surrounding JSU was released by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR).

The quarterly updates present citizens with the available data used for the planning, development and execution of business and related endeavors in East Central Alabama.

The data is particularly beneficial for current and potential economic developers. The economic diversity is used to measure how closely the local economy is tied to industry sectors.

For the coverage area being measured, the Shannon-Weaver Index values range from a low of 0.5570 for Clay County to a high of 0.7368 for St. Clair County, with Clay being the county with the least economic diversity and St. Clair having the most diversity. 

Listed in alphabetical order, the data from this quarterly update is as follows:

0.68315 – Blount County

0.71846 – Calhoun County

0.69157 – Cherokee County

0.55701 – Clay County

0.66552 – Cleburne County

0.72924 – DeKalb County

0.70630 – Etowah County

0.68998 – Marshall County

0.69931 – Randolph County

0.73678 – St. Clair County

0.71124 – Talladega County

The data measured for the region is 0.6881 compared to an index value of 0.7887 for Alabama and 0.7905 for the United States. Region data is calculated by the average of each CEDBR county data. 

The regional average for the quarter was lower, indicating less economic diversity. However, the levels were determined to be high enough to indicate that economic diversity within several counties would reduce the risk of economic shock to the region during times of peril. 

Both national and state-wide employment rates were determined to be more evenly spread among various industries than the region area. 

Various metrics may be utilized for the Shannon-Weaver Index model as it is a measure of industries ranging in value from zero to one with zero indicating minimum diversity and the value of one indicating maximum diversity. 

Recent data indicates that the nation continues to experience economic effects since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of reduced demand within many industries providing goods and services. 

If the economy is dominated by very few industry sectors or a single sector, it may be at risk, as indicated by the ongoing disruption in global supply chains in the midst of the pandemic.

Data shows geographic areas with less diversity often result in more economic challenges as many sectors have less opportunity to absorb the loss of jobs and commerce.

However, areas with a more diverse economy have better opportunities to secure employment because there are fewer economic leakages, and goods and services are able to be produced in higher proportions.

The index helps to develop general guidelines in assessing employment within the local area and region, and it helps to identify potential risks of job loss and economic leakages.

For more information about the recent economic update for February 2022 or the Shannon-Weaver Index, please contact the JSU Center for Economic Development and Business Research.

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