Saturday, November 29, 2014

Why C.E.O.s Are Growing Beards

THESE are dark days for the shaving industry. After experiencing a century of fairly steady growth, makers of razors and other shaving equipment have seen revenues level off or fall in the last few years. Beards are back.

One striking feature of this resurgence is that for the first time in well over a century, a growing number of the world’s business leaders are sporting facial hair. Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin, Goldman Sachs’s chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and Marc Benioff, the billionaire founder and chief executive of Salesforce, are just a few prominent examples.

It’s easy to view the bearded business leader as a mere extension of the overall beard trend, or yet another sign that work environments are becoming more casual. But the tangled history of facial hair and capitalism suggests that deeper forces are at work.

More from the New York Times

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 27, 2014

In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims — early settlers of Plymouth Colony, held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. This event is regarded by many as the nation’s first Thanksgiving. The Wampanoag  Indians in attendance played a  key role. Historians have recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America. These include the British colonists in Virginia as early as 1619.
The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday 151 years ago (Oct. 3, 1863) when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.
Where to Feast
115 million
Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2014’s second quarter — all potential stops for Thanksgiving dinner. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership, Table 8 <>
4.4 million
Number of multigenerational households in the U.S. in 2013. These households, consisting of three or more generations, no doubt will have to purchase large quantities of food to accommodate all the family members sitting around the table for the holiday feast ─ even if there are no guests!  Source: 2013 American Community Survey, Table B11017 <>

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Revenue Increased in All Service Sectors in 2013

Revenue increased in all of the nation’s 11 service sectors for employer firms, according to 2013 Service Annual Survey statistics released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau. Within the utilities sector, natural gas distribution showed a revenue increase of 15.7 percent, from $82.2 billion in 2012 to $95.1 billion in 2013.

The Service Annual Survey provides the most comprehensive national statistics available each year on service industry activity in the U.S. In 2009, the survey expanded to include data for all service industries, which account for approximately 55 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.

Highlights from service sectors:

• Private sector utility revenue for 2013 was $541.0 billion, up 5.6 percent from $512.1 billion in 2012.

Transportation and Warehousing
• Revenue for transportation and warehousing for 2013 was $815.8 billion, up 4.1 percent from $783.9 billion in 2012.
• Pipeline transportation showed $36.5 billion in revenue for 2013, up 5.7 percent from $34.6 billion in 2012.

• Information sector revenue for 2013 was $1.3 trillion, up 3.4 percent from 2012.
• Within the sector, the revenue for software publishers for 2013 was $172.3 billion, up 6.8 percent from $161.3 billion in 2012.
• In 2013, the revenue for wireless telecommunication carriers (except satellite) was $226.0 billion, up 3.4 percent from $218.5 billion in 2012.
• Data processing, hosting, and related services revenue for 2013 was $95.5 billion, up 6.4 percent from $89.8 billion in 2012.
• Revenue for Internet publishing and broadcasting and Web search portals for 2013 was $62.5 billion, up 10.3 percent from $56.7 billion in 2012.

Finance and Insurance
• Finance and insurance revenue for 2013 was $3.6 trillion, up 2.3 percent from 2012.
• Financial transactions processing, reserve, and clearinghouse activities showed $47.6 billion in revenue for 2013, up 12.2 percent from $42.5 billion in 2012.
• Portfolio management had $206.0 billion in revenue for 2013, up 10.7 percent from $186.0 billion in 2012.
• Investment advice revenue for 2013 was $31.8 billion, up 13.8 percent from $27.9 billion in 2012.

Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
• Real estate and rental and leasing had $497.1 billion in revenue for 2013, up 7.0 percent from $464.6 billion in 2012.

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
• Professional, scientific, and technical services revenue for 2013 was $1.5 trillion, up 2.0 percent from 2012.

Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
• Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services had revenue of $745.2 billion for 2013, up 4.0 percent from $716.9 billion in 2012.

Educational Services
• Educational services revenue for 2013 was $56.9 billion, up 3.8 percent from $54.8 billion in 2012.

Health Care and Social Assistance
• Health care and social assistance revenue for 2013 was $2.2 trillion, up 2.7 percent from 2012.

Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
• The arts, entertainment, and recreation sector had revenue of $222.2 billion for 2013, up 4.7 percent from $212.2 billion in 2012.

Other Services (Except Public Administration)
• Other services (except public administration) revenue for 2013 was $448.2 billion, up 6.0 percent from $422.7 billion in 2012.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The increased supply of underutilized labor from 2006 to 2014

The supply of labor and worker productivity are major sources of a nation’s long-term growth in economic output. The supply of labor depends on the size of a country’s population and the country’s labor force participation rate...

In the United States, the labor force participation rate for men has been falling for several decades. The participation rate for women increased for several decades until 1999, but has fallen since.

During a recession, a country’s actual economic output typically falls below its long-term potential output; recovery from a recession generally brings the economy back to its potential output. The recession that officially began in the United States in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 was the longest, and one of the deepest, since the Great Depression.5 Because of a slow recovery, the unemployment rate was higher in mid-2014 than it was during the year before the recession, raising concerns about the effect of the recession and the subsequent slow recovery on long-term potential output.

More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage month

The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode horseback from state to state, getting endorsements from 24 state governments, to have a day to honor American Indians. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November 1990 as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994. This Facts for Features presents statistics for American Indians and Alaska Natives, as this is one of the six major Office of Management and Budget race categories.
Note: Unless otherwise specified, the statistics in the “Population” section refer to the population who reported a race alone or in combination with one or more other races.
5.2 million
The nation’s population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race. They made up about 2 percent of the total population in 2013. Of this total, about 49 percent were American Indian and Alaska Native only, and about 51 percent were American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races. Source: 2011-2013 American Community Survey <>
11.2 million
The projected population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, alone or in combination, on July 1, 2060. They would comprise 2.7 percent of the total population. Source: Population projections <>
The American Indian and Alaska Native population, alone or in combination, 65 and over. Source: 2013 American Community Survey <>
Number of states with more than 100,000 American Indian and Alaska Native residents, alone or in combination, in 2013. These states were California, Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico,Washington, New York, North Carolina, Florida, Alaska, Michigan, Oregon, Colorado and Minnesota.Source: 2013 American Community Survey < oup~009>

Friday, November 21, 2014

25th Anniversary of Technology That Propelled GIS, Digital and Online Mapping into 21st Century

U.S. Geological Survey Adds TIGER Roads as Basis for National Map

The convenience of getting directions today on smartphones and tablets can trace its roots to the digital geographic database created 25 years ago by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) database — the first nationwide digital map of roads, boundaries and water — was initially created for the 1990 Census to modernize the once-a-decade head count. However, its impact has extended well beyond its initial purpose by offering common map data in electronic form that powers today’s geographic information system industry.

“TIGER is just one example of how innovation in the government has spurred innovation and positive economic results in the private sector,”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Internet to Hit 3 Billion Users in 2015

The number of internet users worldwide will surpass 3 billion in 2015, according to new figures from eMarketer, increasing 6.2% next year to reach 42.4% of the entire world's population.

This year, the internet will reach more than two in five people in the world for the first time as online audience hits 2.89 billion users globally. By 2018, eMarketer estimates, nearly half the world's population, or 3.6 billion people, will access the internet at least once each month.

- See more at Emarketer

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Best & Worst States at Combating the High Cost of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a costly disease. It claims more lives in the U.S. than the next three most common types of cancer combined: colon, breast and pancreatic. And the chance of surviving lung cancer is equally disappointing — an underwhelming 16.6 percent, compared with 64.2 percent for colon cancer and 89.2 percent for breast cancer — calling for heightened attention to the deadly disease.

Not only is lung cancer physically and emotionally taxing, it also imposes an astounding financial toll on both the person it afflicts and the rest of society. According to the most recent National Institutes of Health estimates, the disease accounted for $12.1 billion of total cancer care costs in 2010. Five years earlier, premature deaths from lung cancer among adults aged 20 and older resulted in $36.1 billion in lost productivity.

Although many governments and organizations have implemented various measures, such as smoke-free bans and tobacco product regulations, to curb the prevalence of lung cancer, another 224,210 new patients were expected to be diagnosed with the illness this year alone.

Advancing the cause of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, WalletHub ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of their efforts to combat the expensive societal and economic impacts of the disease.


More from WalletHub.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Income and Net Worth of Veteran Business Owners over the Business Cycle, 1989–2010

This month, the Office of Advocacy is releasing a new research report, Income and Net Worth of Veteran Business Owners over the Business Cycle, 1989–2010. The report looks at the effects of two decades of economic expansion and recession on the economic fortunes of veterans and veteran small business owners. It finds that veteran small business owners did better than veterans who did not own small businesses during the 20-year-period. The economic extremes of the period 1989-2010—including the end of the longest U.S. economic expansion and the Great Recession—had similar effects on all business owners—veteran and non-veteran alike.

The report and research summary are available on Advocacy’s webpage.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Unemployment rates by educational attainment and veteran status

Unemployment rates by educational attainment, October 2014

In October 2014, the unemployment rate edged down to 5.8 percent. For those 25 years and older with a bachelor's degree or more education, the unemployment rate was 3.1 percent, down from 3.8 percent in October 2013. For those with some college or an associate degree, the unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, down from 6.3 percent the previous year.

Employment and unemployment among all veterans, Gulf-War era II veterans, and nonveterans

In 2013, the employment-population ratio for all veterans was 47.9 percent, compared to 61.4 percent for nonveterans age 18 and over. (The ratio is the number of employed people as a percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population age 18 and older.) Gulf-War era II veterans, who served on active duty anywhere in the world sometime since September 2001, had an employment-population ratio of 73.3 percent in 2013.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lessons Learned from 2014 Test Will Improve 2020 Census Operations

One of [the Census Bureau's] major goals was to test ways to maximize Internet response. In 2020, we hope to use technology to reduce the overall cost of the census by potentially as much as $5 billion in taxpayer money compared with conducting it on paper (as in all past censuses). This test researched the use of the Internet in two main ways:

As a way to contact people prior to the survey — We introduced “Notify Me Census,” which allowed households to tell us the most convenient way to contact them when it is time to respond to the survey. About 3 percent of households that were provided the “Notify Me” option opted to receive an email or text message instead of standard mail materials.

As a response option — Nearly 58 percent of housing units responded online. The test’s overall self-response rate was 71 percent, meaning that 81 percent of self-responders chose to respond via the Internet rather than by mail or phone.

We made big strides toward maximizing the efficiency of our enumerators’ work using technology, including the use of smartphones to collect interview data and record their hours and mileage — all tasks done on paper in previous censuses. We also conducted a “bring your own device” test at Census Bureau headquarters to assess new secure software for collecting data on smartphones and tablets owned by enumerators (as opposed to using devices furnished by taxpayers).

More from the Census Bureau.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Peak indifference to surveillance

We have reached the moment after which the number of people who give a damn about their privacy will only increase. The number of people who are so unaware of their privilege or blind to their risk that they think "nothing to hide/nothing to fear" is a viable way to run a civilisation will only decline from here on in.

And that is the beginning of a significant change.

Like all security, privacy is hard. It requires subtle thinking, and the conjunction of law, markets, technology and norms to get right. All four of those factors have been sorely lacking.

More from BoingBoing

Friday, November 14, 2014

Nearly 8 in 10 Americans Have Access to High-Speed Internet

Connectivity Varies Across U.S. Metros and Demographic Groups
      An estimated 78.1 percent of people in U.S. households had a high-speed Internet connection last year, according to a new report released this week from the U.S. Census Bureau. However, digital divides exist among the nation’s metropolitan areas and demographic groups.
       These statistics come from the American Community Survey, which collected data on this topic for the first time in 2013 and is the largest survey used to examine computer and Internet use in the U.S.
       Although most Americans have access to computers and high-speed Internet, differences in high-speed Internet use were as large as 25 percentage points between certain age and race groups, while divides between specific income and educational attainment groups were as large as 45 percentage points. In addition, among the nation’s metro areas, Boulder, Colo., had one of the highest rates of high-speed Internet use at 96.9, while Laredo, Texas, had one of the lowest rates at 69.3 percent.
       The report released this week, Computer and Internet Use in the United States: 2013, includes analysis of household computer ownership and Internet use by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin, income and education. It covers areas of the country with populations larger than 65,000.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

ACS for Local Area Planning and Analysis: The 2014 Planning Database

The 2014 Planning Database of selected 2010 Census and selected 2008-2012 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) estimates is now available, incorporating the most current ACS small area estimates. Data are provided at both the census block group and the tract levels of geography. The Planning Database (PDB) assembles a range of housing, demographic, socioeconomic, and census operational data that can be used for survey and census planning. In addition to variables extracted from the census and ACS databases, operational variables include the 2010 Census Mail Return Rate for each block group and tract.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Weird & True Story of America’s Most Popular Social Security Number

It’s a bad idea to keep your Social Security card in your wallet (despite the fact that the card says you should), but it used to be common practice. In 1938, before identity theft was the problem it is today, a wallet manufacturer wanted to show potential buyers how well their Social Security cards would fit in their wallets, so they put fake ones in the ones they sold (similar to cardboard “credit cards” you may see in wallets today).

The cards in the wallets were fake, but the number on them wasn't.

More from

Monday, November 10, 2014

Homeowner trends: fewer homes are underwater, but have no sidewalks

The number of homeowners who owe more for their house than it is worth fell by 1.7 million between 2011 and 2013, according to the Census Bureau's American Housing Survey.

Just over 5 million homeowners reported in 2013 that they were underwater on their mortgage--or 11 percent of homeowners with a mortgage. This was less than the 6.8 million and 14 percent of homeowners with a mortgage who reported being underwater in 2011. Despite the progress, the 2013 figure is more than double what it was in 2007.

From the Demo Memo

Only 56 percent of U.S. households have sidewalks in their neighborhood, according to the 2013 American Housing Survey. Sidewalks are even less common in the neighborhoods of the nation's homeowners—only 48 percent have them compared with 71 percent of renters.

Renters are more likely to have sidewalks in their neighborhood because many live in central cities where sidewalks are the norm.

From the Demo Memo

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Veterans Day 2014: Nov. 11

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
19.6 million
Number of military veterans in the United States in 2013. Source: 2013 American Community Survey<>
1.6 million
Number of female veterans in the United States in 2013. Source: 2013 American Community Survey <>
Percent of veterans in 2013 who were black. Additionally, 79.3 percent were non-Hispanic white; 1.4 percent were Asian; 0.7 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native; 0.2 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; 1.2 percent were some other race. (The numbers for blacks, non-Hispanic whites, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and some other race cover only those reporting a single race.) Source: 2013 American Community Survey <>
Percent of veterans in 2013 who were Hispanic. Source: 2013 American Community Survey<>
9.3 million
Number of veterans 65 years and older in 2013. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.6 million were younger than 35. Source: 2013 American Community Survey <>
When They Served

Friday, November 7, 2014

Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment, 2013

Annual data on the labor force, employment, and unemployment in states and substate areas are available from two major sources: the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program. The CPS is a sample survey of about 60,000 households nationwide conducted for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the Census Bureau. The LAUS program is a Federal-State cooperative endeavor in which State workforce agencies prepare estimates using concepts, definitions, and estimation procedures prescribed by BLS.

This bulletin presents 2013 annual averages from the CPS for census regions and divisions; the 50 states and the District of Columbia; and 54 large metropolitan areas, 22 metropolitan divisions, and 41 principal cities. Data from the CPS differ from the official estimates produced by the individual States through the LAUS program. CPS estimates are provided herein because they are a current source of information on the demographic and economic characteristics of the labor force in subnational areas, from the same source as the official labor force data for the United States as a whole.

Data, going back to 1997, can be found from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

American Community Survey content review

The U.S. Census Bureau recently completed the first phase of a comprehensive content review of every question on the American Community Survey (ACS), using an objective cost-benefit analysis. With the aim of delivering maximum public benefit while ensuring a minimum of public burden, the Census Bureau’s analysis yields seven questions slated for removal from the survey. They include these:

Housing Question No. 6—Business/Medical Office on Property—Is there a business (such as a store or barber shop) or a medical office on this property?
Person Question No. 12—Undergraduate Field of Degree—This question focuses on this person's Bachelor's Degree. Please print below the specific major(s) of any Bachelor's Degrees this person has received.
Person Question No. 21a—Get Married—In the past 12 months did this person get—Married?
Person Question No. 21b—Get Widowed—In the past 12 months did this person get—Widowed?
Person Question No. 21c—Get Divorced—In the past 12 months did this person get—Divorced?
Person Question No. 22—Times Married—How many times has this person been married?
Person Question No. 23—Year Last Married —In what year did this person last get married?

A 60-day Federal Register notice was published October 31, 2014, effective through December 30, 2014. The Bureau invites you to review it and provide comments according to the instructions included in the notice.

The link is HERE.

For additional information, please go to the ACS Content Review webpage.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

New York State Board of Elections Unofficial Election Night Results

The unofficial election night results displayed on this web site are based on the unofficial results reported to us by each County Board of Elections and as such, are posted on the web as a convenience to the public. New York State Election Law requires a complete recanvass of all votes cast on Election Day and the canvass of all valid absentee, special, and affidavit (provisional) ballots before any election results can be certified. Once all ballot counting tasks have been completed (usually within 15 days for a primary and within 25 days for a general election), each County Board certifies their respective election results pursuant to and in accordance with the applicable sections of New York State Election Law (see NYS Election Law, Sections 3-222, 9-200, 9-208). Those certifications are then sent to the State Board for aggregation, certification and publication/posting.

If you are looking for local election results, please contact the county board of elections. Write-in results are shown in the aggregate. Individual names for write-ins are only published in the official results and only by the State Board if a write-in candidate is a winner.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

An Aging Nation Braces for More Deadly Falls

As the American population ages, the number of older people who fall and suffer serious, even fatal, injuries is soaring. So retirement communities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes where millions of older Americans live are trying to balance safety and their residents’ desire to live as they choose.

They are hiring architects and interior designers, some of whom wear special glasses that show the building as an old person would see it. Some have begun to install floor lighting, much like that on airplanes, that automatically illuminates a pathway to the bathroom when a resident gets out of bed.

The number of people over 65 who died after a fall reached nearly 24,000 in 2012, almost double the number 10 years earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 200,000 Americans over 65 died after falls in the decade from 2002 to 2012. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in that age group.
And more than 2.4 million people over 65 were treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls in 2012 alone, an increase of 50 percent over a decade.

READ MORE from the New York Times

Monday, November 3, 2014

Where the 3 million left out of health insurance live

Last week, the New York Times analyzed data from Enroll America and the data group Civis Analytics to determine how to find the still uninsured to help get them signed up for health insurance in the next enrollment period for Obamacare, which starts November 15. What this analysis found, though, was the remarkable difference in the uninsured rate in states that expanded Medicaid versus those that didn't, and the Times is following up on that story.

According to their analysis of the data, about three million people — mostly concentrated in the South — remain without insurance coverage because of the refusal by Republican lawmakers to accept the expansion. Based on the Enroll America/Civis Analytics data, the uninsured rate would drop by two percentage points nationally if the 24 hold-out states took the expansion. The rates in those states, though, would drop dramatically.

More from Daily Kos.