The Super Bowl is the biggest single-day sporting event of the year in the United States, and estimates of the economic boost for metro areas that host the game run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. This year the game is at Inglewood's SoFi Stadium, and we've been tracking economic activity in the area for the Instawork Economic Research Newsletter.
Because our transactions are all geocoded in real time, we can offer an exclusive, up-to-the-minute look at changes in labor demand and hourly wages in the vicinity of the stadium and in the Los Angeles region as a whole. But does the Super Bowl have a bigger economic impact than, say, the World Series?
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- The Super Bowl is having a measurable effect on the hourly labor market in the Los Angeles region.
- In the area nearest the stadium, a spike in wages has accompanied an uptick in shifts.
Across the country, municipal governments see the Super Bowl as a costly logistical undertaking but also a potentially immense boon to local economies. This year the NFL’s title game will be played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, a city in Los Angeles County where 21% of children live in poverty, well above the United States average of 17%. Inglewood has already made substantial economic progress; the child poverty rate was 36% as recently as 2010. But is the Super Bowl doing even more for this community?
One way to find out is by looking at shifts booked on the Instawork platform for January and February in the Los Angeles region, excluding shifts at performance venues like that stadium itself. Only 11 days into February 2022, our business partners had already booked 73% as many shifts for hourly workers as they booked for all of January in the Los Angeles region.
But the results are even more impressive when we look at the area directly surrounding the stadium. Because we have geocode data for our business partner’s locations, we can draw a five-mile radius around the stadium as visualized in the map above (created for the purpose of illustration here at CalcMaps.com).
Within this radius around SoFi Stadium, our Partners have already booked 162% as many shifts for February as they did for January. Moreover, the average rate offered to our hourly professionals in this area has increased 25%, from $19.92 in January to $24.97 in February. Demand for labor has clearly increased, pushing wages upward. But the same increase was not reflected in the Los Angeles area as a whole, where wage offers have actually fallen very slightly in February relative to January:
These results certainly suggest that the Super Bowl is having an outsized positive effect on the economy of Inglewood and its environs. But labor is mobile in the United States, so rising wages in one region can pull in workers from other regions. In many of the regions where Instawork is active, it’s not uncommon to see hourly professionals coming from other metro areas or even other states to work. Is that happening here?
Apparently not. In January, roughly 2% of the people who signed up for shifts in Los Angeles using the Instawork platform came from other regions. That figure was almost doubled in Minneapolis. But to date in February, the share in Los Angeles has actually fallen; the economic boost is staying in the area.
The growth of the Instawork platform makes comparisons to previous Super Bowls difficult, but the 2021 World Series may be illustrative. The Braves and Astros played three games in Cobb County’s Truist Park, roughly 10 miles from midtown Atlanta. These were the last of 11 games played there in October, the same number of home games as in September. The community was coming off a Covid-19 surge that had lasted into early October, and while wages in the area of the stadium did rise about 10% relative to those in Atlanta overall, shifts actually declined somewhat. The Super Bowl is special indeed.
These statistics, derived from data aggregated across the Instawork platform, compare the two weeks starting 1/29/2022 to the previous two weeks. To control for the overall growth of the Instawork marketplace, only shifts involving businesses that booked shifts in both periods are included:
- $0.22 rise in average hourly wages
- 1.0% point drop in the share of short-notice shifts
- 0.4% point rise in the fill rate for all shifts
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