Tuesday, January 31, 2012

State Economic Profiles 2011

The Office of Advocacy’s Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories supply data on small businesses in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The publication also provides national-level data and limited data on the U.S. territories. The usefulness of the publication is the great detail it provides about small businesses at the state level. The following topics are covered: the number of firms, demographics of business ownership, small business income, banking, business turnover, industry composition, and employment gains and losses by size of business.

2011 Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories
2011 Small Business Profiles for New York State [PDF]

Monday, January 30, 2012

Market concentration: the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index calculator

"Since 1982, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and state attorneys general have used the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) to measure market concentration for purposes of antitrust enforcement. The HHI of a market is calculated by summing the squares of the percentage market shares held by the respective firms. For example, an industry consisting of two firms with market shares of 70% and 30% has an HHI of 70²+30², or 5800.

"According to the DOJ-FTC 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines, the agencies will regard a market in which the post-merger HHI is below 1500 as 'unconcentrated,' between 1500 and 2500 as 'moderately concentrated,' and above 2500 as 'highly concentrated.'"

See the tool HERE.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

How to call NYC's 311 when you're not in NYC

311 is New York City's main source of government information and non-emergency services. Whether you're a resident, business owner, or visitor, help is just a click, text, or call away.

Call 212) NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) from outside New York City.

There are also text, Skype, TTY, Twitter, and iPhone app options.

More HERE.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Proposed NYS Senate & Assembly districts available in GIS format

The New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (commonly known as "LATFOR") has published its proposed new lines for State Senate and Assembly districts based on the decennial 2010 Census.

LATFOR posted its proposed district maps in PDF format, and also provided "block assignment lists" to delineate the proposed districts. The block lists indicate which Census blocks (the smallest level of Census geography) correspond to which district. But the Task Force didn't make the maps available in a format that you can easily use with mapping software or online maps.

In order to enable others to visualize and analyze these districts on maps, the Center for Urban Research (CUR) at the CUNY Graduate Center has converted these lists into two formats compatible with desktop and online mapping applications: "shapefiles" and KML files. (Shapefiles are commonly used by most desktop geographic information system, or GIS, software packages. KML files are used typically in Google Maps, Google Earth, and other online mapping applications.)

More HERE.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Global Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a deeper jobs crisis

The world faces the "urgent challenge" of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade in order to generate sustainable growth and maintain social cohesion, according to the annual report on global employment by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

"After three years of continuous crisis conditions in global labour markets and against the prospect of a further deterioration of economic activity, there is a backlog of global unemployment of 200 million," says the ILO in its annual report titled Global Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a deeper jobs crisis. Moreover, the report says more than 400 million new jobs will be needed over the next decade to absorb the estimated 40 million growth of the labour force each year.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Annual Energy Outlook 2012 - early release overview

From the Energy Information Agency

Projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012) Reference case focus on the factors that shape U.S. energy markets in the long term, under the assumption that current laws and regulations remain generally unchanged throughout the projection period. The AEO2012 Reference case provides the basis for examination and discussion of energy market trends and serves as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in U.S. energy policies, rules, or regulations or potential technology breakthroughs.

This release is an abridged version of the Annual Energy Outlook that highlights changes in the AEO Reference case projections for key energy topics. The Early Release includes data tables for the Reference case only. The full AEO2012 will be released April 26, 2012.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation (draft)

Source: U.S. Department of the Interior

In response to increasing impacts of climate change and other stressors on America’s natural resources, the United States Congress has called for the development of a national, government-wide strategy to safeguard fish, wildlife, plants, and the natural systems upon which they depend.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Internet, by the numbers

"So what happened with the Internet in 2011? How many email accounts were there in the world in 2011? How many websites? How much did the most expensive domain name cost? How many photos were hosted on Facebook? How many videos were viewed to YouTube?

"We’ve got answers to these questions and many more. A veritable smorgasbord of numbers, statistics and data lies in front of you. Using a variety of sources we’ve compiled what we think are some of the more interesting numbers that describe the Internet in 2011."

More HERE.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Scarcity of women causes men to spend more, save less

A scarcity of women doesn't just dampen men's spirits — it could hurt their finances, too.

When men think they outnumber women, they borrow more, save less and make more impulse purchases, according to a study published last week by the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.

The rest of the story HERE.

The news release about the study HERE.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Best explanation of SOPA/PIPA argument I've seen

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses, and Conventions

Here is a chronological list of all the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries, caucuses, and conventions in 2012.

There are data to the states' rules. For instance:
Tuesday 24 April 2012 (tentative): 81 of 95 of New York's delegates to the Republican National Convention (3? from each of the state's 28 Congressional Districts) are allocated to presidential contenders in today's New York Presidential Primary.

There are also links to state constitutions, election authority (e.g. state Board of Elections), legislature, political parties and media.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Men Rule: The Continued Under-Representation of Women in U. S. Politics

Study after study finds that, when women run for office, they perform just as well as their male counterparts. No differences emerge in women and men’s fundraising receipts, vote totals, or electoral success. Yet women remain severely under-represented in U.S. political institutions. We argue that the fundamental reason for women’s under-representation is that they do not run for office. There is a substantial gender gap in political ambition; men tend to have it, and women don’t.

More HERE [PDF].
(Thanks to Dustbury.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Files Make American FactFinder Your One Stop for Key Census Bureau Data

The new American FactFinder, the U.S. Census Bureau’s statistics and information search engine introduced one year ago, has been updated with files formerly found in its “legacy” version. Users now have access to more than 60 important data sets in the new FactFinder English interface and 14 data sets in the Spanish interface.

“Users no longer have to navigate between two Web tools,” Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. “They now have one stop for the most important data sets from the Census Bureau.”

Nearly all of the information from the older version has been uploaded to the new American FactFinder website. At your fingertips, you now will have access to more than 250 billion data cells and statistics for more than —

- 40,000 tables
- 1,500 population groups and tribes
- 80,000 business and industry codes
- 12 million geographies for each decennial census

The new American FactFinder provides users with one-stop access to results from the decennial census (2010 and 2000), the economic census (2002 and 2007), American Community Survey, population estimates and key annual economic surveys. American FactFinder has statistics on a variety of topics, such as income, poverty, education, and housing.

Census staff are aware of customer issues with the new American Fact Finder and are working on both short term and long term solutions to address these issues, improve search and navigation, and enhance customer satisfaction

Eventually, the 2010 Census Equal Employment Opportunity File, the American Housing Survey and the census of governments statistics will be released through the new American FactFinder.

This expansion has permitted the Census Bureau to retire the original version of American FactFinder on Jan. 20 after 12 years of service. Several files will be available only on the Census Bureau FTP (file transfer protocol) site.

Any deep links or bookmarks in the older version of American FactFinder no longer work. The Census Bureau held a webinar to discuss the transfer of files to the new American FactFinder and provide guidance on building deep links, searching and bookmarking in the new site, as well as accessing the information that had previously been on the legacy FactFinder through an archived FTP site. For those who missed it, an archived version will be available in the next few days HERE.

If you need a few facts in a hurry, you can look at Quick Facts, which give you fast, easy statistics about people, business, and geography. If you are a new user of census data, this may give you what you need in a simple, easy-to-navigate format.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS)

EIA is releasing new benchmark estimates for home energy use for the year 2009 that include detailed data for 16 States, 12 more than in past EIA residential energy surveys. EIA has conducted the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) since 1978 to provide data on home energy characteristics, end uses of energy, and expenses for the four Census Regions and nine Divisions. In 1997, EIA produced additional tabulations for the four most populous States (California, New York, Texas, and Florida). A threefold increase in the number of households included in the 2009 RECS offers more accuracy and coverage for understanding energy usage for all estimated States, Regions and Divisions.

More HERE.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Revisions to Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data

At the end of every calendar year, BLS makes routine revisions to the seasonally adjusted data in the Current Population Survey (CPS), which includes the national unemployment rate. The revisions include all additional information to identify if changes in the data are one-time or seasonal temporary blips as opposed to permanent changes in the numbers. These changes are usually minor and don’t drastically change labor market trends. With this month’s release of the employment situation, BLS made that same set of routine revisions, and as expected, the changes to 2011 data were minor.

More HERE.

Monday, January 9, 2012

ACS questions re: computer & internet usage, parental place of birth

The Census Bureau published a Federal Register notice on December 28, 2011 [PDF], seeking comment on two proposed new topics (questions) for the American Community Survey (ACS) starting in 2013.

The Census Bureau tested these new questions in its 2010 ACS Content Test. The topics are:
1. Computer and internet usage
2. Parental place of birth

Terri Ann Lowenthal, in her Census Project blog, speculated about the implications for census-taking of racial, income, geographic, and other socioeconomic differentials in Internet access and usage.

She writes in an e-mail: "Nonprofits working with immigrant communities might be especially interested in the proposed question on parental place of birth. The justification for both proposed topics is included in the FR notice. The notice also summarizes several other proposed tweaks (the technical term!) to ACS questions starting in 2013.

"Deadline for public comments is February 27, 2012...I urge any organizations supporting these new question topics to submit comments to the Department of Commerce."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How Moving Companies are Changing the U.S. Landscape

A recent post here was about infographics; there is also a post about the 2010 Census reporting record low mover rates. The infographic here visualizes the Census trend.

Friday, January 6, 2012

New and Improved Features on Census.gov Home Page

Some of the new features you will find include:

A top drop-down menu for quick navigation to key topics.
An embeddable dashboard in the upper right corner featuring our economic indicators. Reporters can subscribe to receive automatic updates.
A prominent "Census News" section in the middle of the page.
A new interactive map showing in-depth business and demographic information for the nation, states and counties.
A "Stat of the Day" highlighting statistics across all the data collected by the Census Bureau.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

OpenSecrets.org - looking at dollars flowing thru political campaigns

With the presidential election on the far horizon, political campaigns will be front page news for the next several months, and a big part of the political news will focus on money: who is raising it, who is giving it, who is spending it, and what they are spending it on.

OpenSecrets.org, produced by the Center for Responsive Politics, provides an easy way to look at the dollars flowing through the campaigns, using data from the Federal Election Commission. This comprehensive website covers presidential, house and senate campaign finance, offering detailed fundraising profiles for each candidate, with rankings of donating industries and major contributors. PAC money is accounted for, with data on “outside spending” supporting and opposing the candidate, and head-to-head comparisons of presidential candidates allow you to directly compare, for example, the key industries donating to Santorum with those supporting Obama. For representatives and senators, comparisons to congressional fund-raising averages are provided, along with a listing of bills sponsored and co-sponsored.

OpenSecrets.org offers extensive and well organized information on campaign finance. The data is easily readable, and illustrated by graphs. If you are wondering where all the money comes from, Open Secrets.org will open the books for you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Finding Place in Making Connections Communities

Foundation- and government-sponsored initiatives often want to help disadvantaged neighborhoods and families in tandem. Yet many do not connect with their constituencies because the initiatives find target areas through census tracts and the like, which seldom match residents' definitions of their neighborhoods. Claudia J. Coulton, Tsui Chan, and Kristen Mikelbank (Case Western Reserve University) survey residents from 10 cities served by the Annie E. Casey Making Connections initiative, then employ GIS tools to discover the spaces residents call their neighborhoods as well as compare them with external definitions.

See also: The Awkward Art of Neighborhood Naming

(Thanks to CG Hill

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Infographics are hardly new

Data Visualisation may be a hot topic right now, but a new poster show at London's Transport Museum reminds us that getting complex information over in attractive ways is not a new challenge for the art director or designer MORE.

Monday, January 2, 2012

World Giving Index 2011 : A Global View of Giving Trends

Source: Charities Aid Foundation

This is the second edition of the 'World Giving Index', the largest study into charitable behaviour across the globe involving 153 countries in total.Using data from Gallup's Worldview World Poll, the report is based on three measures of giving behaviour - giving money, volunteering time and helping a stranger.

The results show that the USA is officially the most charitable nation in the world.