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August 6, 2021

 

 
 
Flash Index  
 

The University of Illinois Flash Index in July ended its rapid climb from the depth of the COVID-19 crisis, falling to 105.8 from the 106.0 level in June. This does not signal a flagging Illinois economy, only that the rate of increase has plateaued. The monthly indicator of Illinois economic activity had risen for 13 consecutive months since bottoming out at 92.8 in May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced economic slowdown. The 100 level is the dividing line between economic growth and decline. See the full Flash Index archive for monthly readings. "In retrospect, the recovery both nationally and Illinois has been remarkable, exceeding the expectations of almost all observers," said U of I professor emeritus J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the monthly index for the university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs. "Overall, the economy is now above the pre-crisis level achieved in early 2020. It is not surprising that the rate of increase has stopped rising. There are now mixed economic signals with bottlenecks arising in some areas, the result of labor or materials issues along with the threat of renewed COVID impacts. However, consumers remain a source of strength with substantial spending power coupled with pent-up demand resulting from depressed spending opportunities during the shutdown."

 

 
 
  Public Affairs
 

As state and federal eviction moratoriums expire, millions of people across the country face the possibility of losing their homes, and the disparate impact of COVID-19 on women's economic prospects makes them especially vulnerable to eviction. According to the Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs, in 2018, approximately 414,000 renter households in Illinois had incomes below $50,000 (80% of the median household income in Illinois). Of these, 248,000 were cost-burdened, that is paying more than 30% of their income for rent, with most of this group consisting of female-headed households with children under 18.29 These women are now also very vulnerable to eviction and its devastating long-term effects. When the pandemic began, there were estimates that more than 600,000 renter households were vulnerable based on their employment in Illinois and, of this total, nearly 90,000 were likely to be single mothers with children. They are also vulnerable to eviction because they are low-income (85%), cost-burdened (61%), or both (60%).30 These rates are all higher than for men.

 

 
 
SHED  
 

Since 2013, the Federal Reserve Board has conducted the Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED), which measures the economic well-being of U.S. households and identifies potential risks to their finances. The survey includes modules on a range of topics of current relevance to financial well-being including credit access and behaviors, savings, retirement, economic fragility, and education and student loans. The May report draws from the Board's eighth annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED), which examines the economic well-being and financial lives of U.S. adults and their families. The 2020 survey of more than 11,000 adults was conducted in November 2020, offering a picture of how people were faring eight months after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 
 
  LGE Webinar Series
 

Geothermal energy systems can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and lower energy bills up to 70% due to their efficiency, according to the US EPA. Illinois Extension has joined partners in the Illinois Geothermal Coalition to offer state-wide education and outreach on geothermal energy and resources. After holding an introductory session this past week, the coalition invites community leaders and the general public to attend additional sessions on campus projects and community models on August 10 and 12, both at 12PM CT. On August 10, presenters will share details about existing campus geothermal projects, experiences working with researchers to incorporate geothermal exchange in facilities through public and private partnerships, and further plans for incorporating more geothermal solutions for renewable energy in capital improvements. On August 12, presenters will discuss decarbonizing commercial and residential heating, converting a public sector commercial building to geothermal energy, and implementing community-based education and group purchasing programs. View additional details and register for each session here.

 

 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

August 9-12 - Midwest Community Development Institute (CDI)

August 10 - Geothermal Illinois: Campus Geothermal Capital Improvement Features and Research Projects

August 12 - Geothermal Illinois: Community Case Examples

August 17 - Broadband Adoption and Affordability: Ensuring Broadband for Everyone

 
 
 
 
 

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