Tuesday, March 31, 2009

U.S. Regional Population Losses Linked to High Unemployment

High unemployment rates are not just creating a drag on the U.S. economy, but are also linked to lagging population growth in economically distressed areas, according to a Population Reference Bureau analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Between 2007 and 2008, the population in distressed counties—areas with unemployment rates of 6 percent or more in 2007—grew 0.3 percent, compared with a 1.2 percent growth rate in areas with relatively low unemployment (less than 4 percent). Nationwide, the population grew 0.9 percent during 2007-2008.

Multi-Generational Housing Patterns

From AARP Policy & Research

While most respondents to this January 2009 survey of adults ages 18 and older said that moving in with a friend or family member was unlikely, among those who thought it was a possibility, one-third said that such a move would be due to a loss in income, while one-fifth said it would be due to a change in job status or a change in health status.

Monday, March 30, 2009

IIHS makes interactive state law maps available online

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is enhancing its online presentation of state laws by using interactive maps of the United States. The first such laws to be illustrated are motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws and automated enforcement laws, with additional state law maps becoming available. The maps provide geographic representations of the laws to illustrate the extent to which US states are addressing highway safety concerns.

GPO Publishes Its Annual Report for 2008

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) released the agency’s annual report for fiscal year (FY) 2008, which shows another year of increased revenue.

Statistics on the number of incorporations by state

On the International Association of Commercial Administrators website's page for annual jurisdictional accounts: under 2008 Annual Report, there is a link to a Search by Jurisdiction Online. From there, choose United States and, e.g. New York, choose BOS Annual Report, and Display Report. The page opens to show the number of corporations filed during the past two years, along with the total number on file as of the last two years. They also have full pdf files for previous years.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


The State Labor Department estimates the unemployment numbers and rates for communities of 25,000 or more. You can find these here.

Census 2010: Assessing the Bureau's Strategy for Reducing the Undercount of Hard-to-Count Populations

On Monday, March 23, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee held a hearing entitled "Census 2010: Assessing the Bureau’s Strategy for Reducing the Undercount of Hard-to-Count Populations." Witnesses included:
· Mr. Thomas Mesenbourg, Acting Director, U.S. Census Bureau
· Mr. Robert Goldenkoff, Director of Strategic Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office
· Ms. Stacey Cumberbatch, City Census Coordinator, City of New York
· Mr. Jeff Tarakajian, Executive Vice President, DRAFTFCB

Member statements and witness testimony are available here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Important financial info for consumers

The Federal Reserve Publications Catalog is a treasure chest of 100's of free brochures.
Sort by date to get the latest.

Important financial info for consumers

The Federal Reserve Publications Catalog is a treasure chest of 100's of free brochures.
Sort by date to get the latest.

NPR: Recession Adds To Hurdles Facing U.S. Census

A year from now, the U.S. will conduct its decennial population count. The findings are used to re-apportion congressional districts, disburse federal funding — even decide where new traffic lights go. But the economic crisis threatens to make this daunting task even harder. There is special concern about minority groups, which are traditionally hard to count.

Full audio here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

U.S. Unemployment Understated in Recent Data

As the nation struggles to get a sense of the depth of the current recession, a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) demonstrates that the current unemployment rate is higher than conventionally measured and is already at roughly the same level as the high reached in 1982, the year with the highest unemployment rate since World War II.

Brookings Holds 2010 Census Forum

On March 18, 2009, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) co-ponsored "Politics, Policy and the 2010 Decennial Census," an engaging discussion of the plans and issues regarding the coming census. Andrew Reamer, Brookings Fellow and APDU President, served as host. The event’s panel, moderated by NPR news editor Ron Elving, included Robert Goldenkoff, Strategic Issues Director, U.S. Government Accountability Office; Terri Ann Lowenthal, a consultant specializing in the census; Frank Vitrano, Chief, Decennial Management Division, Census Bureau; and Arturo Vargas, Executive Director, NALEO.

Event transcript and presentations are available here.
The Washington Post’s view on the event is available at here.

Address canvassing

Public Libraries and Department of Labor Employment Centers

New York's unemployment numbers now show that 762,600 workers statewide are unemployed. Because of the tremendous need for assistance with employment and retraining information and assistance, the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) is interested in placing some DOL employees who could provide employment counseling, programs and training, to work in public libraries across New York.

The State Library and the public library systems are working with the DOL to assess interest and capacity for hosting such staff in public libraries. The public library systems are surveying member libraries this week and next and results will be shared with the Department of Labor as soon as results are complete.

Public Library Systems and public libraries continue to work individually in many regions of the state to collaborate on job/career information training and workshops for both library staff and the public.

For additional information on the survey please contact: Cassie Artale, New York State Library / Division of Library Development, 518/474-1479, cartale@mail.nysed.gov

Interim county population estimates for years in the 1980s

New York data appear starting at line 3920 of the Excel file.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Top 100 Rated TV Shows Of All Time

In the US, by Rating through February 1, 2009.

I've been fascinated not by the big event stuff, such as the Super Bowls, Root, final episodes and the like but the sheer strength off regular season shows such as the Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza and Gunsmoke.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fire Statistics

This page contains statistics on fires that occur in the United States and analytical and topical reports that describe the national fire problem. Also included are statistics related to firefighters and fire departments. The U.S. Fire Administration is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

2009 Rosemary Award for Worst FOIA Performance Goes to FBI

From the report: The Federal Bureau of Investigation won the fifth annual Rosemary Award for the worst Freedom of Information Act performance by a federal agency. The FBI’s reports to Congress show that the Bureau is unable to find any records in response to two-thirds of its incoming FOIA requests on average over the past four years, when the other major government agencies averaged only a 13% "no records" response to public requests.

During fiscal year 2008, the FBI gave "no records" responses to 57% of the requests it processed, more than any other major agency. The Bureau only provided documents (most redacted) in less than 14% of cases — the lowest percentage of requests granted among the major agencies in the federal government. In 2007, the FBI responded with “no records” in 70% of its FOIA requests. In 2006, "no records" peaked at 74%; and in 2005, at 66% — the four-year average.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Economy at a Glance

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) produces Economy at a Glance pages at the national, regional, state, and metropolitan area levels. The data displayed in these pages are assembled from different surveys and programs conducted by BLS. The Economy at a Glance pages are refreshed with current data every time any of the source programs releases new statistics. This typically occurs 7-9 times per month.

IRS Releases 2008 Data Book

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the release of the 2008 IRS Data Book (PDF), which is an annual snapshot of IRS activities for a given fiscal year.

The report describes activities conducted by the IRS from Oct. 1, 2007, to Sept. 30, 2008, and includes information about returns filed, tax collections, enforcement and taxpayer assistance, as well as the IRS budget and workforce.

During fiscal year 2008, the IRS collected more than $2.3 trillion in taxes (net of refunds) and processed more than 250 million returns. More than 101 million returns, including 58 percent of individual income tax returns, were filed electronically.

More than 118 million individual income tax return filers received tax refunds that totaled almost $270.4 billion. Filers also received more than $95.7 billion in economic stimulus payments. In fiscal year 2008, IRS spent an average of 41 cents to collect each $100 of tax revenue.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Insurance Related Data

The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) compiles the latest facts and statistics relating to the insurance industry, including data on annuities, the world’s deadliest catastrophes (including insurance loss data), worst terrorists attacks (with insured property losses), and more.

Health Coverage in an Economic Downturn

You may have seen references to the story about how people forgo using the health care system for financial reasons. I recommend checking out the whole Kaiser Family Foundation website. KFF "is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., with a growing role in global health."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Credit card industry facts, debt statistics 2006-2009

This page contains credit card-related statistics — including statistics on credit card debt, credit card delinquencies, credit scores, credit card interest rates, bankruptcies, average credit card debt and more — compiled by the CreditCards.com staff. Statistics on this page are updated regularly as new or updated credit card data is received. Some data may appear multiple times on the page because the information is applicable in multiple categories.

Consumer Information For Drinking Water

From the EPA's Office of Ground Water & Drinking Water.

Friday, March 20, 2009

USDA Agricultural Projections to 2018

From the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service

This report provides long-run (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2018. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

Economy May Test Census

By Steve Vogel, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, March 20, 2009; Page A17

The faltering U.S. economy is causing concern about the ability of the 2010 census to get a full and accurate count of the U.S. population, according to Census Bureau officials and experts.

The increase in home foreclosures and the rising jobless rate mean more Americans are moving out of their homes and into shelters or other locations where they may be harder for census workers to find.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tax Statistics

Produced by the Statistics of Income Division and Other Areas of the Internal Revenue Service, categories include business tax statistics, individual tax statistics, IRS operations/budget/compliance, statistics of income, charitable and exempt organization statistics, products/publications/papers, statistics by tax form, and more. The What’s New page points to the most recent information added to the site and also to the most popular items.

Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2008

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics

According to Current Population Survey estimates for 2008, 75.3 million American workers age 16 and over were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.2 percent of all wage and salary workers. On July 24, 2008, the Federal minimum wage increased to $6.55 per hour from $5.85 per hour. Data in this report reflect the average number of workers earning the prevailing Federal minimum wage or less for the year (those who earned $5.85 or less from January 2008 through July 2008 and those who earned $6.55 or less from August 2008 through the end of the year). Among those paid by the hour, 286,000 earned exactly the prevailing Federal minimum wage in 2008. About 1.9 million had wages below the minimum. Together, these 2.2 million workers with wages at or below the minimum made up 3.0 percent of all hourly-paid workers.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Profile of the Working Poor, 2007

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

In 2007, according to the Census Bureau, 37.3 million people, or 12.5 percent of the population, lived at or below the official poverty level. Although the Nation’s poor were primarily children and adults who had not participated in the labor force during the year, 7.5 million were among the 'working poor'. This level is slightly higher than the level reported in 2006. The working poor are individuals who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (working or looking for work), but whose incomes still fell below the offi cial poverty level. In 2007, the working poor rate–the ratio of the working poor to all individuals in the labor force for at least 27 weeks–was 5.1 percent, unchanged from the rate reported in 2006.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Labor Underutilization Measures for States

A new webpage, Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization for States, has been posted on the BLS site. A table on this page shows U-1 to U-6 for the states (2008 annual averages). For example, U-4 includes discouraged workers. By this measure the unemployment rate in New Jersey in 2008 was 5.7 percent, while the rate for New York was 5.9 percent.

As a BLS reconomist noted: "Though these data pertain to the recently-ended calendar year, the deterioration in the labor market in 2008 was so rapid and pronounced that many of these measures understate the current degree of labor market underutilization. For example, the U.S. unemployment rate in December 2008 was 7.2 percent (seasonally adjusted), well above the 5.8 percent average for the year as a whole."

Business Dynamics Statistics

Noted by our colleagues at the Hill Library:

Where can you find data on how many US businesses open and close each year and the impact this has on the economy? Where can you track firm age, firm size, and firm performance over time at state and national levels?

The Census Bureau recently launched Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) to track the changing landscape of entrepreneurial activity in the United States. BDS tracks business activity, annual changes in employment, and growing and shrinking businesses. It includes unique information on firm age and firm size and tracks firms over time. BDS currently includes data for 1976-2005.

So use Business Dynamics Statistics today to access data for your industry or region.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Who has sex with whom?

Characteristics of heterosexual partnerships reported in a national probability survey and implications for STI risk from the International Journal of Epidemiology.

"A substantial minority of partnerships in the population is casual. The proportion of partnerships not protected by condoms is high, especially for partnerships involving larger age differences and people in their 30s and 40s."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Majority/Near-Majority of First Graders in Top Ten U.S. Cities are Latino

Latino children now constitute a majority or near majority of first graders in nine of the nation’s largest cities, according to analysis conducted by the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) at the University of Southern California. In cities such as Los Angeles and Dallas, the percentage of Hispanic first graders is even higher - three out of four first graders in these school districts are Latino. In 2020, this demographic wave of Latino first graders will graduate from high school and enter collegiate education or the labor market.

Peter Lobo among 7 NYC Employees Honored for Service

Peter Lobo, our colleague from New York City Planning, is one of seven NYC employees honored for service with a 2009 Sloan Service Award. You can read more about this here. Congratulations, Peter!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

American Statistical Association Letter Urges President to Accelerate Appointment of Census Director

Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) March 11, 2009 -- The American Statistical Association (ASA), the nation's preeminent professional statistical society, has initiated a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to appoint a Census Director as soon as possible and to ensure that the Census Bureau is shielded from partisan politics. The letter, which has been signed by representatives of a number of professional societies representing a variety of fields, stresses the need for strong and decisive leadership of the Census Bureau as the organization gears up for the 2010 census.

Read the press release (PDF).

Immigration Explorer map

This Census-based item on the New Times website allows one to select a foreign-born group to see how they settled across the United States.

Friday, March 13, 2009

American Religious Identification Survey 2008

The Catholic population of the United States has shifted away from the Northeast and towards the Southwest, while secularity continues to grow in strength in all regions of the country, according to a new study conducted by the Program on Public Values at Trinity College. "The decline of Catholicism in the Northeast is nothing short of stunning," said Barry Kosmin, a principal investigator for the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS). "Thanks to immigration and natural increase among Latinos, California now has a higher proportion of Catholics than New England."

The percentage of Americans claiming no religion, which jumped from 8.2 in 1990 to 14.2 in 2001, has now increased to 15 percent. Given the estimated growth of the American adult population since the last census from 207 million to 228 million, that reflects an additional 4.7 million “Nones.”

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Rockefeller Institute Report on State Revenues

Last year ended badly for states, and the first part of 2009 looks to be even worse, according to the Rockefeller Institute’s latest 'flash' report on state revenues. Three-quarters of states reporting saw tax collections drop at the end of 2008, compared to the same quarter of 2007. Overall, states' revenues fell 3.6 percent in the quarter.

Bankruptcy Filings Up In Calendar Year 2008

From the Report:

Bankruptcy filings in the federal courts rose 31 percent in calendar year 2008, according to data released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The number of bankruptcies filed in the twelve-month period ending December 31, 2008, totaled 1,117,771, up from 850,912 bankruptcies filed in CY 2007. Filings have grown since CY 2006 when bankruptcy filings totaled 617,660, in the first full 12-month period after the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act" of 2005 (BAPCPA) took effect. An historic high in the number of bankruptcy filings was seen in calendar year 2005, when over 2 million bankruptcies were filed.

Apply online for an extension to file state income tax return

Need an extension to file your personal state income tax return? Apply online for an automatic extension. It's free and easy to use. You'll receive an instant, printable confirmation that the Tax Department received your application.

To apply for an extension to file online, go here.

If you owe tax with your extension, you can pay it by:
- direct debit from a savings or checking account
- credit card (a convenience fee applies)
- printing a voucher and mailing a check

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

10.7 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2008

It's the highest level in 52 years; ridership increased as gas prices decline and jobs were lost. From the American Public Transportation Association.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nielsen trends

Recommended the Nielsen wire blog of consumer trends. Yes, THOSE Nielsen people who do the ratings. The downside; most blog post link to paid articles. Still there's a lot to learn about marketing segments here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Guidestar Surveys Again

GuideStar, which deals with thousands of charities every month, published the results of its annual nonprofit economic survey in November, which said that 64 percent said demand for services was up, and 60 percent reported that contributions had dropped or were stagnant. There was some good news: 35 percent said that contributions had increased.

"Since then, however, the economy has deteriorated further, and countless news stories have reported on food banks with empty shelves, human service charities overwhelmed by requests for assistance from the newly unemployed, nonprofit layoffs, and more."

Thus Guidestar is in the midst of a new survey, with data collected between now and March 16 and compiled as soon as possible.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

GAO Reports on the 2010 Census-March 5, 2009

2010 Census: Little Time Remains to Address Operational Challenges, by Robert Goldenkoff, director, strategic issues; and David Powner, director, information technology management issues, before the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-09-408T, March 5.

Information Technology: Census Bureau Testing of 2010 Decennial Systems Can Be Strengthened, by David Powner, director, information technology management issues; and Robert Goldenkoff, director, strategic issues, before the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-09-414T, March 5.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Budget of the United States Government

For Fiscal Year 2010.

Federal Register Notice: The 5-Year ACS Data Products Release Plan

The U.S Census Bureau published its data release plan for the ACS 5-year data products in the Federal Register (E9-4803). Beginning in late 2010, the Census Bureau plans to introduce 5-year data products covering the January 2005 through December 2009 data collection period. The release of the 5-year estimates will achieve the goal of the ACS to provide small area data similar to the long-form sample data published after Census 2000. The Census Bureau is proposing to modify its current line of data products to accommodate the 5-year estimates and is requesting comments from current and potential users of ACS data products to help guide this modification.

Please review the 5-Year ACS Data Release Plan and provide your response to the contact listed in the Federal Register notice. Follow this link to the Federal Register notice (PDF files) posted in the Highlights section on the ACS Main page, or go directly here. Comments are due to the contact listed in the Federal Register notice by
April 20, 2009.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Asians in New York State

There is a new Census profile on Asian Americans in New York State, based on the three-year ACS data that recently came out. You can download a copy from the Asian American Federation's website.
"It’s got interesting tidbits like the largest Laotian community in New York State in the Rochester Metro Area, not New York City. A lot of the data was pulled from the Special Population Profile, and some of it from the PUMS data."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hate Group Numbers Up By 54% Since 2000

The number of hate groups operating in the United States continued to rise in 2008 and has grown by 54 percent since 2000 — an increase fueled last year by immigration fears, a failing economy and the successful campaign of Barack Obama, according to the Year in Hate issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Porn in the USA

From NewScientist "Those states that...consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, a recent study finds." #1 by all measures: Utah.

The Census Project

Recommending, or perhaps recommending again, the Census Project, which is "concerned about a fair and accurate Census 2010. Congress and the new Administration must act quickly to address these needs." It is the "result of a collaboration of a number of Census stakeholders...representing a broad range of organizations and issue areas."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009. This legislation provides a nearly $800 billion boost to the American Economy.

New York's Guide to the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act can found at www.economicrecovery.ny.gov. The web site includes details about the $24 billion spending plan, Cabinet members, press releases, and an email update request form.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Global Integrity Report

The Global Integrity Report is a tool for understanding governance and anti-corruption mechanisms at the national level. Written by local researchers and journalists, the Report is characterized by an innovative, award-winning research methodology; a robust peer review process; and start-to-finish transparency.

Here's a blog post from a couple weeks ago touting its release.