University Experts Publish Report on Regional Economy


The JSU Center for Economic Development and Business Research has published its first "Economic Update Annual Report" on East Central Alabama.

Economic Report CoverThe report streamlines data from the center's monthly "Economic Update" - which has been in publication for more than 30 years - into an overview of the past year's economic indicators. It includes economic data for the 11-county region surrounding JSU, including Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, DeKalb, Etowah, Marshall, Randolph, St. Clair and Talladega counties.

“We have put a lot of hard work into this first issue,” said Jeff Hooie, research analyst.  “With this report, we hope to show the importance of timely, accurate data to highlight the strengths and shortfalls of the ongoing economic impact of the global pandemic on our regional economy.”

The report analyzes regional economic and demographic conditions for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years, including an overview of tax, demographic and labor force profiles for each county and region. The report is a beneficial tool for examining economic changes that may assist with the following:

  • Retail sales examination and lodging trends
  • Construction viability and availability of housing and rental unit vacancy
  • Listing of top industries by employment and wages with projections of expected levels for next year
  • Identification of occupations in high demand with appropriate levels of education to meet those needs

“It is a resource for a variety of economic development applications and services,” said Jennifer Green, center director. “Our center strives to support and be on top of the needs for our region’s economic developers, chambers and all levels of government to maximize their opportunity for success.”