Trident United Way analysis shows COVID-19 to crush Tri-County economy by nearly $2 billion in just three months

A new economic analysis by Trident United Way is showing COVID-19 could have a nearly $2 billion negative hit to the Tri-County economy by the end of May. The analysis was done by Jonathan Rauh, Trident United Way vice president of evaluation and public policy.

Rauh estimates from March 15 to Memorial Day (May 25) the Gross Regional Product (GRP) in the Tri County may fall by an astounding 20 percent, which equals nearly $2 billion.

South Carolina unemployment numbers have tripled in the past month. In March 2019, there were 56,700 out of work. Beginning March 15 this year, statewide unemployment swelled to 181,000 in just three weeks for a rate of nearly 10% - an increase of 219% from this same time last year.

Click below for an interview with Jonathan Rauh, Trident United Way vice president of evaluation and public policy.

Rauh’s analysis shows the effects on state and local governments will also be staggering since South Carolina relies heavily on sales tax and tourism revenue. Rauh says if unemployment numbers remain where they are from May through August (the heaviest seasonal employment for South Carolina) state sales tax revenues could fall by around 21%, approximately $1.75 billion.

One way to help your friends and neighbors is by donating Trident United Way’s Tri-County COVID-19 Response Fund. In partnership with Coastal Community Foundation, TUW is distributing funds to local nonprofits to assist with surge capacity and growing needs. From fighting homelessness to providing food and medicine to those in need, the fund is making a difference. Trident United Way is underwriting all costs associated with disbursing 100% of the funds going directly to COVID-19 response and relief efforts

 Jonathan Rauh leads Trident United Way's Evaluation and Public Policy department. Rauh has a Ph.D. Public Policy, American Government, Quantitative Methods from the University of South Carolina.