Sunday, July 31, 2011

The National Pastime

I discovered this particular chart at which indicates what current and former teams have the best won-lost percentage since the franchises began.

OK, for current teams, you likely guessed the New York Yankees, formerly the New York Highlanders and Baltimore Orioles are #1 by about 30 percentage points. But who's #2?

Interestingly, the Yankees are NOT the #1 team in terms of Hall of Fame members. They have 42, but the Atlanta Braves (a .500 team since 1876) have 45; the Los Angeles Angeles Dodgers (#3 in winning percentage) have 46.

The #1 team in term of Hall of Fame representatives are the San Francisco Giants with 55; the Giants have the second-highest winning percentage.

The current teams with the lowest winning percentages are Tampa Bay (by a wide margin), followed by San Diego, Seattle, Texas, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Milwaukee.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

10 Fascinating Projections About Education in the U.S.

Occasionally, people actually submit content to me. This post on educational trends is one of them.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Compensation costs up in June

Compensation for civilian workers rose 0.7%, wages and salaries rose 0.4%, and benefit costs rose 1.3%, seasonally adjusted, from March to June 2011. Over the year, compensation rose 2.2%, wages and salaries 1.6%, and benefits 3.6%

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pew Analysis of Census Data Demonstrates Wealth Gaps


A recently released Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation demonstrates that the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households. Access the report, Twenty-to-One: Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics, and associated coverage in The Washington Post.

Nonemployer Statistics, 2009

Annual report on businesses without paid employees in nearly 300 industries for the nation, states, counties and metropolitan areas. Most who own such businesses are self-employed and operate very small businesses (for example, real estate agents or beauticians) that may or may not be their primary source of income.

The number of nonemployer businesses...declined by more than 260,000 between 2008 and 2009 across the United States, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau...In 2009, there were 21.1 million nonemployer firms, a decrease of about 1.2 percent from 2008. This continues a decline first noted in 2008 — following the beginning of the recession at the end of 2007 — when the total number fell by more than 350,000 from a peak of 21.7 million firms in 2007.

“Nonemployer firms generate a small percentage of total U.S. business receipts, but they constitute the majority of U.S. businesses...”

Online seminars

Someone asked me about finding an online seminar about a particular topic, and I found a couple that I had used before.

But then I came across; "Find best online seminars and webcasts by industry experts." A useful site for a variety of topics.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

IRS migration profiles: 2008/09 data added

The IRS has released new county and state level migration data for years 2008/2009. The Missouri SDC has updated its menu pages and web applications to provide access to these latest available data. See HERE.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Slashing the Census Budget

Census cuts could end some surveys

The Census Bureau would have to make severe cuts in the type of data it collects from American households and businesses if its budget is slashed 25 percent, as proposed under a bill being considered by the House Appropriations Committee, according to experts on the census.

The agency, which is closing half its regional offices to save money, has warned that cuts that big would likely mean an end to next year’s Economic Survey, which is conducted every five years and is used to calculate the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, among other things. There also could be deep cuts in the American Community Survey, a monthly survey of households that provides detailed information on a wide variety of habits, from commuting patterns to household income levels.

While the Obama administration has proposed reducing the agency’s budget from $1.15 billion to $1.02 billion, House lawmakers are considering a bill that would give the Census Bureau $885 million in 2012 — almost $300 million less. That is much deeper than the 6 percent cut being proposed for the Commerce Department, which oversees the bureau.

Census Budget: House Bill Would Gut Economic Monitoring, Endanger GDP And Other Stats

"It would have major, permanent impacts on the nation's economic and demographic statistics," the bureau said, according to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), a member and past chair of the House Joint Economic Committee.

Maurine Haver, the head of the National Association of Business Economists' statistics committee...did note that collecting less information is good only for people who are not interested in answers.

"I just have no clue what they are thinking," Haver said. "If you want to run the country not based on information but just based on your ideology, this is fine -- if you don't need to know what's going on out there."

Also, The Consequences of Budget Cuts.

Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act: July 26

This day marks the 21st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which guarantees equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications.

Population Distribution

36 million
Number of people who have a disability. They represent 12 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population.

By age —

-- 5 percent of children 5 to 17 have disabilities.
-- 10 percent of people 18 to 64 have disabilities.
-- 37 percent of adults 65 and older have disabilities.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Percentage of females with a disability, compared with 11.6 percent of males.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Percentage of people with a disability in West Virginia, highest of all states. Utah has the lowest with 8.9 percent of its residents reporting a disability.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Specific Disabilities

10.2 million
Number of people who have a hearing difficulty. Of these, 5.8 million are 65 and older.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

6.5 million
Number of people with a vision difficulty.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

13.5 million
Number of people 5 and older who have difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions. Of these, 2.1 million are children
5 to 17 years of age.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

19.4 million
Number of people 5 and older who have difficulty walking or climbing stairs.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

On the Job

Percentage of disabled workers 16 and older who use public transportation to commute to work. In addition, 70 percent of people with a
disability drive alone, 13 percent carpool, 4 percent walk and 3 percent use a taxicab, motorcycle, bicycle or other means.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Percentage of disabled workers 16 and older who work in the educational services and health care and social assistance industries, the
highest of any industry.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Income and Poverty

Percent of the population age 16 and older with a disability that are below the poverty level. Eleven percent of the population age 16 and
older without a disability are below the poverty level.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Percentage of disabled people 16 and older who are not in the labor force. Twenty-seven percent of people without a disability are not in the labor force.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Median earnings of the population age 16 and older with a disability, this compares with $28,983 for the population without a disability.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Serving Our Nation

$35.3 billion
Amount of compensation veterans received for service-connected disabilities in fiscal year 2008.
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011, Table 521


Percentage of people 25 and older with a disability who have less than a high school graduate education. This compares with 12 percent
for those with no disability.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Percentage of people 25 and older with a disability who have a bachelor's degree or higher. This compares with 31 percent for
those with no disability.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Monday, July 25, 2011

Marriage equality map

Arthur @AmeriNZ "made a couple illustrations to depict the reality of marriage equality in the US now that New York is officially the sixth US state to enact it. The map...depicts Free States, which have marriage equality, those that forbid it (the majority) and those that are somewhere in between (the second biggest group). This sort of map shows up curiosities, like the northern state of Michigan banning marriage equality and the southern state of North Carolina not doing anything at all (yet). California won’t be counted as a free state until its infamous Proposition 8 is overturned one way or another."

Census 2010 maps

The Program on Applied Demographics has posted over 100 maps showing almost all the indicators available in the Demographic Profile dataset for New York. Presently the subject matter of the maps concentrate on housing occupancy and tenure, household type (family, nonfamily) and the relationship (in household, in group quarters) but also include maps of population size and density. More population variables will be added.

The maps have been organized into three groupings—economic region, county/subcounty, and major cities. You can find a link to all these maps from the PAD home page. On the left side of the home page, there is a new section entitled Maps and carries with it the subtitle of Census 2010 Atlas. Click on that hyperlink and it will carry you to the map index page which shows the availability of maps by subject for the three levels of geography. (For the cities, we mapped the variables by tract.)

In terms of viewing the maps simply put your cursor on one of the check marks and click. At the bottom of each map page there are two nice browsing features. If you click the forward-backward buttons, you see other maps for the same geographic level. Or if you want to see more detail at a different level of geography, select from the change geographic detail list.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

108 Stores with Senior Discounts

Since I am, ahem, eligible for AARP, my sister (younger by less than two years!) sent me this admittedly useful list.

"Gone are the days of your grandmother’s “early bird special” at the local diner. As our baby boomers reach retirement age, hundreds of retailers are featuring new and improved discounts exclusively for the 60 and older crowd. We have composed a list of senior savings that will help you keep more cash in your pocket. Whoever said getting older was a bad thing, obviously didn’t know about these fantastic senior discounts!"

Retail and Apparel
Activities & Entertainment

Click this link to view the list

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Maps: Agriculture

Interesting set of agricultural maps compiled by And Arthur.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Facts about the Average American

From Cheryl Russell, editorial director, New Strategist Publications

There is no single source of information on the average American. To know him (or her), you have to follow the demographics. To that end, here is a sampling of just a few of the characteristics of the average American (adult) or household.

1. The average American makes $735/week.
Current Population Survey

2. The average American has $34 in his/her wallet.
Survey of Consumer Payment Choice

3. The average American spends $69 a day.

4. The average American has a job (58%).
Bureau of Labor Statistics

5. The average American thinks hard work is the way to get ahead (70%).
General Social Survey

6. The average American thinks the government's number-one priority should be to help keep and create jobs in America (51%).
Economic Mobility Project

7. The average American has employer-provided health insurance (56%).
Current Population Survey

8. The average American household spends $3,126 a year out-of-pocket on health care.
Consumer Expenditure Survey

9. The average American has a landline telephone (70%).
National Health Interview Survey

10. The average American has a cell phone (87%), but does not own a smart phone (only 35% own one).
National Health Interview Survey, Pew Research Center

11. The average American says the economy/jobs will be the top issue in the 2012 election (60%).
Kaiser Polls

12. The average American has less than $100,000 in savings (54%).

13. The average American does not directly own any stock. (Only 19% of households own stock directly.)
Survey of Consumer Finances

14. The average American household is $75,600 in debt (including the mortgage).
Survey of Consumer Finances

15. The average American has been to college (56%), but does not have a college degree.
Current Population Survey

16. The average American owns a desktop (59%) and/or laptop computer (52%).
Pew Internet & American Life Project

17. The average American used the Internet today (59%).
Pew Internet & American Life Project

18. The average American says he/she is in very good or excellent health (56%).
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

19. The average American is overweight (63%).
National Health Interview Survey

20. The average American eats at least two snacks a day (65%).

21. The average American drinks alcohol regularly (52%).
National Health Interview Survey

22. The average American goes to the doctor at least twice a year (65%).
National Health Interview Survey

23. The average American is taking at least one prescription drug.
Health, United States

24. The average American sometimes or often has trouble sleeping (55%).
General Social Survey

25. The average American is currently married (51%).
Families and Living Arrangements

26. The average American has never divorced (only 21% have ever divorced).
Survey of Income and Program Participation

27. The average American lives in one of the top 50 metropolitan areas (54%).
2010 census

28. The average American is a homeowner (65%).
2010 census

29. The average American lives in an 1,800 square foot house.
American Housing Survey

30. The average American lives in a house built before 1975.
American Housing Survey

31. The average American believes the effects of global warming have already begun or soon will (53%).

32. The average American household is air-conditioned (87%).
American Housing Survey

33. The average American watches 2 hours and 49 minutes of television a day.
American Time Use Survey

34. The average American has two or more children (57%).
General Social Survey

35. The average American favors spanking children, if necessary (69%).
General Social Survey

36. The average American was born in-state (52%).
American Community Survey

37. The average American's parents were born in the United States (78%)
General Social Survey

38. The average American's grandparents (all four) were born in the United States (59%).
General Social Survey

39. The average American household owns two vehicles.
Consumer Expenditure Survey

40. The average American household owns at least one pet (62%).
American Pet Products Association

41. The average American pays his/her credit card bill in full each month (54%).
National Bureau of Economic Research

42. The average American household has a net worth of $96,000.
Survey of Consumer Finances

43. The average American believes in God without a doubt (59%).
General Social Survey

44. The average American believes in evolution (56%).
General Social Survey

45. The average American favors the death penalty (68%).
General Social Survey

46. The average American often or always recycles (64%).
General Social Survey

47. The average American wants the government to spend more on education (74%), health care (60%), and the environment (60%).
National Opinion Research Center

48. The average American is worried about being able to maintain his/her standard of living (58%).

49. The average American believes the honesty and ethical standards of Congress are low (57%).
Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

50. The average American does not know which political party controls the House of Representatives (62%).
Pew Research Center

For more about the the average American, see the 10th edition of The American Marketplace: Demographics and Spending Patterns, available in hardcopy or as a PDF download with links to Excel files of each data table.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Effect of Income on Appliances in U.S. Households

Looking across the country at how people live, the factors that cause the most differences in home lifestyle, including energy use, are:

Geographic Location
Household Income
Geographic location determines what climate people live in, what appliances they have, and what types of energy they use in their home. Socioeconomic differences may show how differences vary based on race, gender, or the number and relationships of the persons in a household. Household income can affect the number and cost-related attributes and types of appliances, like televisions, that most households have. This document looks at the relationships of these factors to home appliance ownership, based on information from the 2001 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), conducted by the Energy Information Administration.

Let the poor sweat

There was this recent article in the National Review, Modern Poverty Includes A.C. and an Xbox, reporting on a Heritage Foundation report, What is Poverty. The implication was clear: the poor in the United States don't have it all that bad.

My initial inclination was not to even to address the issue. After all, it was one of those unwinnable arguments with people of a particular mindset And look at some of the items- Owning a refrigerator? Probably provided by the landlord; ditto the stove and oven. Air conditioning is a necessity in much of the country. TVs are relatively cheap form of information and entertainment. Even people in Afghanistan and sub-Saharan Africa have cell phones. And are these new items or second-hand?

But some of my data colleagues made interesting points:

One wrote: "Poverty status is about the ability of a 'family' to obtain a given standard of living based on its current flow of resources during some relatively short period, e.g. one year. Much of today's poor were not poor in the recent past, when they were able to purchase the consumer durables" measured. Interestingly, my seven-year daughter made pretty much the same observation when I was talking about this.

Another data colleague reflected on the interesting responses of who "bought stuff when employed, and now haven’t worked in years and it’s difficult to replace what they have. Where Heritage sees luxurious poor people, I see a desperately sliding middle class. And there’s no substantial research here to prove either view is right.

"Not to mention the details. If you have an air conditioner, you may not be able to afford to turn it on. Individual pay-as-you-go cell phones are encouraged for the unemployed as a help in job searches and more stable than land lines given the instability of housing for the poor... Subsidized housing often comes with washers and dryers because it takes less resources than trips to the laundromat. Go into any thrift shop in the U.S. and find used x-box systems for $10 or less as the employed trade up to a better system. And non-digital TVs for the taking."

It's clear that the writer created "a 'straw man' in selectively picking out polling data indicating that most Americans view poverty as third world style depravation. If you think that is approprate to the US, then quite right; few Americans qualify." But, by American standards, the promise of children doing better than their parents is very much in question.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Factfinder 2 mystery

One of our Data Detectives entered a New York State address. The American Factfinder 2 system retrieved information for a township in Missouri. Another address in Buffalo NY retrieved data for Buffalo City in
Johnson County Wyoming.

However, the system worked as expected when entering the zip code, with or without the city and state.

The Census Bureau has indicated that FactFinder 2 works best with Firefox
3.5 or greater, and that has shown to be accurate. Using Internet Explorer 8 earlier, though, currently does not work well with FactFinder. Apparently, FactFinder will work with IE 7, but not higher versions. The Census Bureau is working on this problem.

Our Data Detective got good results using Google Chrome, but incorrect results using Opera.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tips and Tricks for Using the New American FactFinder Webinar

July 28, 2011
2:00-3:30 PM EDT


Are you frustrated by the Census Bureau's new American FactFinder? Can't find the data you want? This webinar will provide a how-to demonstration to get the tips and tricks you'll need to successfully use the new American FactFinder. The webinar will also cover when the Census Bureau plans to move other data sets, such as the American Community Survey, to the new FactFinder.

Nancy Gemignani
Research Specialist, California State Census Data Center
State of California Department of Finance, Demographic Research Unit

Webinar pricing is as follows:
• C2ER Members: Free
• LMI Training Institute Member States: Free
• APDU Members: $25
• All Others: $50

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"69 percent of people who have business cards have gotten a speeding ticket, compared with 53 percent of people in general.
Based on a survey of 298 people who have business cards and 743 people in general."

This is one the truly bizarre factoids available at Forget the fact that these are self-selected people, and therefore it's not a scientific survey; it's just weird. But from the webpage, the Freakonomics people seem to like it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Age/sex/race in New York State

Based on Census 2010 Summary File 1 from data detective Jan K. Vink of the Program on Applied Demographics at Cornell University.

PAD brings skills in demographics, economics, statistics, data gathering and data analysis together to provide a variety of organizations and data analysis together to provide a variety of organizations with data, information and advice. PAD works closely with the New York State Department of Economic Development, the U.S. Census Bureau and other organizations to assist them in their activities. PAD maintains its own web site which has an extensive data section where viewers have access to the latest data on New York, including data from Census 2010.

Census Bureau Releases New Local-Level Demographic Info from 2010 Census for NY, 5 other states

The U.S. Census Bureau today released new, detailed demographic information from the 2010 Census for Arizona, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oklahoma and Vermont.

These Summary File 1 tables provide the most detailed counts available so far from the 2010 Census, including cross-tabulations of age, sex, households, families, relationship to householder, housing units, detailed race and Hispanic or Latino origin groups, and group quarters. The statistics are available for a variety of geographic areas, with most tables available down to the block or census tract level.

What's Unique in Summary File 1

Summary File 1 provides new layers of detail about the topics covered in the 2010 Census and cross-tabulates many of these topics to provide a more nuanced picture. Beyond just providing counts of families, for example, the summary file also shows the number of families by type, by the age of the children present and by race and Hispanic origin of the householder.

Many of the tables are repeated for nine race and Hispanic or Latino origin groups: white alone, black or African-American alone, American Indian and Alaska Native alone, Asian alone, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, some other race, two or more races, Hispanic or Latino, and white alone not Hispanic or Latino.

New topics include:
•Single year of age by sex
•More detail on children, including adopted, stepchildren and grandchildren
•Race and Hispanic origin of householder
•More detail on household relationships
•Group quarters population by sex, age and group quarters type
•Housing tenure (rented or owned) by age, household type, race and Hispanic origin of householder
•Mortgage status of owned housing units

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Business

From SBA [PDF].

"The annual cost of federal regulations in the United States increased to more than $1.75 trillion in 2008. Had every U.S. household paid an equal share of the federal regulatory burden, each would have owed $15,586 in 2008."

Check especially the chart on PDF page 60.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

High School Longitudinal Study of 2009: A First Look at Fall 2009 9th-Graders

From the National Center for Education Statistics:

This report features initial findings from the base year of a new longitudinal study that started with a nationally representative cohort of ninth-graders in the fall of 2009 and will follow these students through postsecondary education and the world of work. The base year data focus on students’ transitions into high school, especially their decisions about courses and plans for postsecondary education and careers. The HSLS:09 study captures these decisions, plans, expectations, and activities generally but also specifically in math and science.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Children's Dental Care: Advice and Checkups, 2008

This Statistical Brief provides analysis for dental visits among children ages 2-17 and the advice given by doctors to the parents of children for their dental checkups and frequency of routine checkups. In terms of following the doctor's advice to have routine dental checkups, only about half (49.3 percent) of the children received them.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Connection Between Obesity and Poverty

By Phil Izzo, Wall Street Journal

A new report finds shows that Americans are getting fatter and notes worse rates among those with low incomes, but some states don’t exactly fit the pattern.

Living Arrangements of Children: 2009

This report [PDF] from the Census Bureau examines the diversity of children’s living arrangements in households in the United States. The data are from the household relationship module of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) collected in early 2009. This is an update of an earlier report based on data from the 2004 SIPP Panel.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tax Department Policy on Manufacturer's Discounts Received Using Store Loyalty Cards

From NYS sales tax guidance

This memorandum describes the procedures that sellers should follow to properly disclose to customers that certain discounts received through store loyalty cards are manufacturer's discounts.

Many businesses use store loyalty cards to offer their customers incentives to shop frequently at their stores. These incentives often include discounts that are activated by scanning the customer's loyalty card at the cash register.

When these loyalty card discounts are given and the discounted item is subject to sales tax, the amount subject to sales tax generally depends on whether the discount reflects a manufacturer's discount or a store discount. If the store is reimbursed for the amount of the discount by the manufacturer, distributor or other third party, it is a manufacturer's discount. If the store receives no reimbursement from a third party for the amount of the discount given, it is a store discount.

Generally, when a customer purchases an item subject to sales tax and receives a manufacturer's discount, the amount subject to sales tax is the full price of the item before subtracting the discount. For store discounts, however, the amount subject to sales tax is the price of the item after the discount is applied...

In the case of a manufacturer's discount, the store must adequately disclose to the customer, at or before the time of purchase, that the discount the customer is receiving is a manufacturer's discount. This is to ensure that the customer is aware that the full purchase price is subject to sales tax. If the seller fails to adequately disclose this information to the customer...the seller must collect sales tax from the customer on the reduced price of the item. However, in this case, when the seller files its sales tax return it must still remit sales tax on the full price of the item before the discount. That is, the seller itself will be required to pay the sales tax on the amount of the manufacturer's discount.

Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2008–09

This First Look report presents state-level data on revenues by source and expenditures by function for public elementary and secondary education for school year 2008-09. Part of the Common Core of Data (CCD), this report presents data submitted annually to NCES by state education agencies in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Findings include: • Current expenditures per pupil for public elementary and secondary education were $10,591 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009. • Adjusting for inflation, per pupil state and local revenues decreased by 1 percent or more in 16 states and increased by 1 percent or more in 25 states from FY 08 to FY 09. • Between FY 08 and FY 09, per pupil current expenditures decreased by 1 percent or more in 8 states and increased by 1 percent or more in 36 states.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

E-Reader Ownership Doubles in Six Months

From the Pew Internet & American Life Project

The percent of U.S. adults with an e-book reader doubled from 6% to 12% between November 2010 and May 2011. Hispanic adults, adults younger than age 65, college graduates and those living in households with incomes of at least $75,000 are most likely to own e-book readers. Parents are also more likely than non-parents to own these devices.

Tablet computers have not seen the same level of growth among U.S. adults in recent months. In May 2011, 8% of adults report owning a tablet computer such as an iPad, Samsung Galaxy or Motorola Xoom. This is roughly the same percentage of adults who reported owning this kind of device in January 2011 (7%), and represents just a 3 percentage-point increase in ownership since November 2010. Overall, the highest rates of tablet ownership are among Hispanic adults and those with household incomes of at least $75,000 annually.

International Data Base

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts demographic and economic studies and strengthens statistical development around the world through technical assistance, training, and software products. For over 60 years, the Census Bureau has assisted in the collection, processing, analysis, dissemination, and use of statistics with counterpart governments in over 100 countries.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How Far Can You Get From McDonald's?

From Data Pointed:

"Just how far away can you get from our world of generic convenience? And how would you figure that out?

"As I hurtled down the highway, a pair of golden arches crept over the horizon, and the proverbial lightbulb smacked me in the forehead. To gauge the creep of cookie-cutter commercialism, there’s no better barometer than McDonald’s – ubiquitous fast food chain and inaugural megacorporate colonizer of small towns nationwide.

"So, I set out to determine the farthest point from a Micky Dee’s – in the lower 48 states, at least."

U.S. Net International Investment Position at Yearend 2010

From the Bureau of Economic Analysis:

The U.S. net international investment position at yearend 2010 was -$2,471.0 billion (preliminary), as the value of foreign investments in the United States continued to exceed the value of U.S. investments abroad. At yearend 2009, the U.S. net international investment position was -$2,396.4 billion (revised).

The -$74.6 billion change in the U.S. net investment position from yearend 2009 to yearend 2010 primarily reflected net foreign acquisitions of financial assets in the United States that exceeded net U.S. acquisitions of
financial assets abroad. The impact of these financial flows was partly offset
by the net change in valuation adjustments, which include price changes,
exchange-rate changes, and other changes such as more complete source data.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Segregation in the land of limousine liberalism


Westchester County is far from the streets of Birmingham and the lunch counters of Greensboro, but the super-affluent suburban swath just north of New York City may be the premier civil rights battleground of 2011. Westchester is defying a landmark federal court order to desegregate housing in its whitest and wealthiest towns, prompting civil rights activists to return to court. The federal government has allowed wealthy municipalities to keep the poor and black out for decades, and municipal leaders nationwide are watching closely to see if the Obama administration forces the county to comply.

New Pool Regs - and a Tax Credit Offset

There are new Americans with Disabilities Act regulations regarding many swimming pools.

To assist businesses with complying with the ADA, Section 44 of the IRS Code allows a tax credit for small businesses and Section 190 of the IRS Code allows a tax deduction for all businesses.
The tax credit is available to businesses that have total revenues of $1,000,000 or less in the previous tax year or 30 or fewer full-time employees. This credit can cover 50% of the eligible access expenditures in
a year up to $10,250 (maximum credit of $5000). The tax credit can be used to offset the cost of undertaking barrier removal and alterations to improve accessibility; providing accessible formats such as Braille, large print and audio tape; making available a sign language interpreter or a reader for customers or employees, and for purchasing certain adaptive equipment.

The tax deduction is available to all businesses with a maximum deduction of $15,000 per year. The tax deduction can be claimed for expenses incurred in barrier removal and alterations.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Statistics - 2010

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics [PDF]

The proportion of the population employed in 2010—the employment-population ratio—was 18.6 percent among those with a disability, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The employment-population ratio for persons without a disability was 63.5 percent. The ratios in 2010 for both persons with and without a disability were lower than those recorded in 2009. The unemployment rate of persons with a disability was 14.8 percent in 2010, higher than the rate for those with no disability, which was 9.4 percent.
The data on persons with a disability are collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that provides statistics on employment and unemployment in the United States. The collection of data on persons with a disability is sponsored by
the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Also: Students with Disabilities at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions from National Center for Education Statistics.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cities Beyond the Horizon

An article about what urban is.

"The CIA Factbook...puts the United States’ urbanization rate at 82%, or about 255 million people, but what does that really mean? According the U.S. Department of Transportation...tells us that “[a]n urbanized area is comprised of one or more places and the adjacent densely settled surrounding area together include at least 50,000 people.” A nebulous definition, at best."

American Time Use Survey - 2010 Results

Bureau of Labor Statistics [PDF]

In 2010, 82 percent of employed persons worked on an average weekday, compared with 35 percent on an average weekend day, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data include the average amount of time per day in 2010 that individuals worked, did household activities, and engaged in leisure and sports activities. Additionally, measures of the average time per day spent providing childcare —both as a main activity and while doing other things — for the combined years 2006-10 are provided.

Friday, July 1, 2011

County Business Patterns: 2009

Census Bureau Reports U.S. Employer Firms Show Declines in Number of Establishments and Employees

In 2009, businesses with paid employees numbered 7.4 million, a decline of 168,000 establishments from 2008, marking the second consecutive year of decline, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Further, between 2008 and 2009, employment dropped 5.3 percent, a decrease of more than 6 million employees, for a total of 114,509,626.

In 2008, the number of establishments decreased by about 104,000, although the number of employees increased by almost 300,000.

These findings are from County Business Patterns: 2009, which provides the only detailed annual information on the number of establishments, employees, and first-quarter and annual payroll for most of the 1,100 industries covered at the national, state and county levels.

The statistics are broken down according to employment-size classes (for example, number of establishments with one to four employees) and legal form of organization (for example, corporations and partnerships).

Emergency Department Visits in Rural and Non-Rural Community Hospitals, 2008

From the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality

Emergency departments (EDs) are an important consideration in today’s health policy dialogue. Previous studies note that annual ED visits have increased over time, while reimbursement for emergency care by insurers has steadily decreased. These challenges are magnified in rural areas, which typically have fewer health care resources, including medical staff, facilities, adequate financing, and modern technologies. More information is needed on the patient and hospital attributes of rural ED visits to further improve the emergency and overall care of rural patients.
This Statistical Brief presents data on the use of EDs in rural areas from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS). The information focuses on patient and hospital characteristics of rural and non-rural emergency department visits in the United States in 2008. Variations in the most frequently listed conditions for adults and children are also discussed.

Going to the Beach?

If you're going to the beach this summer, use these resources to help you plan ahead:
Beach Safety -- Learn about rip currents and other beach dangers to be aware of.
Sun Protection -- Use sunscreen, clothing, and sunglasses to protect your skin from the dangerous and aging effects of UV radiation.
Coastal Water Temperatures -- Find out how warm (or cold) the water will be in the area you'll be visiting.
Weather Forecast -- Check the forecast as it may affect your beach plans.

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