Blame it on COVID-19 but areas in the U.S. heavily tied to manufacturing could suffer in the coming weeks due to supply chain disruptions.

In his 2017 study, “How Vulnerable Are American Communities to Automation, Trade, & Urbanization?” Hicks profiled specific communities that are dependent on manufacturing jobs.

The study points out that the manufacturing-heavy Midwest may be the first to feel supply chain disruptions.

“The actual disease may be longer term effects on the labor supply and organization of production, which harder to estimate,” Hicks said. “In the short term, the factory stoppages may affect producers in the next few weeks.”

Read the study:

Economist Michael Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University may be reached at 765-716-3625 or

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