Monday, August 31, 2015

The Manufacturing and International Trade Report

On August 28, 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2013 Manufacturing and International Trade Report (MITR). This report contains manufacturing data on the value of product shipments. The data are published on a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) basis from the 2013 Annual Survey of Manufactures and  the 2012 Economic Census Subject Series. The MITR also includes official U.S. export and import merchandise trade statistics.
The MITR will provide a comprehensive comparison between detailed manufacturing product class data and associated import and export data for 2013 and 2012.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Submit a Mutilated Currency Claim and Get Your Money's Worth

Currency can be damaged in many ways, whether it’s by fire, water, chemicals, animals or simple deterioration. Mutilated currency includes any type of damage that makes its value questionable.

Did you know that the U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing examines and redeems mutilated currency at no cost to you?

If you have damaged currency that you inherited or found in your backyard, don’t throw it away - you could be losing money! Learn more about mutilated currency and how to submit a claim. Keep in mind that the standard wait time for processing is 6 to 36 months. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hurricane Katrina 10th Anniversary: Aug. 29, 2015

Hurricane Katrina is the costliest U.S. hurricane on record, and the deadliest to strike our nation since 1928. After initially making U.S. landfall on Aug. 25, 2005, in South Florida as a Category 1, it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, rapidly intensified into a Category 5 and made its second landfall early the morning of Aug. 29 in Plaquemines Parish in Southeast Louisiana as a strong Category 3 with sustained winds of 125 mph. After briefly moving over water, it made a third landfall later that morning near the Louisiana-Mississippi border. Katrina weakened as it moved north-northeastward over land but remained a hurricane as far inland as the vicinity of Meridian, Miss., a straight distance of more than 130 miles from the coast. 

Ultimately, Katrina was responsible for 1,833 deaths and damage estimated at $151 billion, including $75 billion in the New Orleans area and along the Mississippi coast. Federal disaster declarations issued in the hurricane’s wake covered not only all of the coastal counties of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, but extended well inland to include cities such as Baton Rouge, La.; Jackson, Miss.; and Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Friday, August 28, 2015

These are The Most Sexually Diseased Cities in the USA

Despite our puritan heritage, Americans really love to have sex. It turns out, a lot of us like to have sex without protection, too. Using publicly available data sources, we’ve mapped sexually transmitted diseases across most maj2or cities in the USA. The military helped cities rank strongly in the top 10, with Norfolk Naval Base, Ft. Hood, and Ft. Bragg all pushing their cities to the top.

This map about STD statistics was created and produced by "You may share and embed this map with proper attribution."

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Americans Are on the Move — Again

Americans are picking up and moving again as the recession fades, personal finances improve and housing markets recover. Counties in Nevada, Arizona, eastern California and Tennessee also saw some of the nation’s biggest growth in movers last year.

“People are finally starting to move again after years of hunkering down,” said Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California. “Young people have kept graduating from school and moving into large cities, like Los Angeles and New York. But the normal out-movers have been suppressed. They are finally starting to break out.”

Historically, about 17 percent of families move in a given year, but the recession knocked that number down as low as 11 percent, said Kimball Brace, president of Virginia-based Election Data Services. After two straight years of improvement, the number of moving families has partially recovered to about 15 percent.

“The recession kept people at home. They couldn’t sell their home, they couldn’t find a job,” Brace said. “We’re starting to see bigger numbers. We’re not all the way back.”

By next year it should be clearer how the moves will affect political power, Brace said. But some Sun Belt states already are expected to gain congressional seats at the expense of Northern states where outbound moves are picking up.

Based on current population growth and loss trends, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Virginia would gain congressional seats in 2020, Election Data Services estimated this year. Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia would lose seats.

More from Pew Trusts

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Women's Equality Day

In 1971, Congress passed a resolution making August 26, Women’s Equality Day, to celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 giving women the right to vote. This law grew out of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention marking the start of the women’s rights movement. Leading the cause to get women equal voting rights were Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

Anthony was the first woman to have her likeness on any type of U.S. currency - the silver dollar coin. Later this year, the Treasury Department will announce which woman will appear on the ten dollar bill starting in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.
Learn more about women’s history and the Seneca Falls Convention.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New York: Statewide Foreclosure Activity Still Well Above Prerecession levels

New York state continues to have high levels of foreclosure activity with new foreclosure filings remaining significantly higher than prerecession levels, according to a report released this week by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
“The foreclosure crisis is far from resolved, and there are still too many people losing their homes,” DiNapoli said. “In many places the situation has continued to get worse. Foreclosed properties displace families and weigh heavily on local communities, reducing property values and eroding tax bases. We must continue efforts to help homeowners and stem the spread of foreclosure-induced blight.”
Foreclosure filings rose rapidly after the housing bubble burst and the recession of 2008-2009 took hold. Between 2006 and 2009, the number of new foreclosure cases filed jumped from 26,706 to 47,664, an increase of 78 percent. In 2011 and 2012, new filings declined as new court rules were issued requiring lenders to affirm their claim to the property.
Since reaching a low of 16,655 in 2011, new filings climbed to 46,696 by 2013 before falling to 43,868 in 2014, still well above prerecession levels.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Percent change in Consumer Price Index by expenditure category, July 2014 to July 2015

Over the 12 months ended July 2015, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.2 percent. The index for food rose 1.6 percent over the past year, while the energy index fell 14.8 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent over the year.

From July 2014 to July 2015, the index for food at home rose 0.9 percent and the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 3.1 percent. The index for fruits and vegetables declined 1.9 percent over the past year, while the index for cereals and bakery products rose 1.3 percent. The index for food away from home increased 2.7 percent.

More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Census Bureau Releases Commuting Report

The U.S. Census Bureau released a report, Who Drives to Work? Commuting by Automobile in the United States, 2013, which looks at commuting by private vehicle. The report highlights differences in rates of automobile commuting by population characteristics such as age, race, ethnicity, place of birth and the types of communities in which workers live, based on data collected during the 2013 American Community Survey.
Also released is a county-to-county commuting flows table package that looks at traveling to work between counties and the primary travel mode people use, based on American Community Survey data collected from 2006 to 2013.
Highlights from the Report
  • About 86 percent of U.S. workers commuted to work by automobile in 2013; three out of four commuters drove alone.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Guide to Community Solar: utlity, private, and non-profit project development

From the Department of Energy:

In communities across the United States, people are seeking alternatives to conventional energy sources. Whether they aim to increase energy independence, hedge against rising fuel costs, cut carbon emissions, or provide local jobs, they are looking to community-scale renewable energy projects for solutions. Advances in solar technology, an increase in federal and state tax incentives, and creative new financing models have made solar projects including community solar projects, more financially feasible.

This guide is designed as a resource for those who want to develop community solar projects, from community organizers or solar energy advocates to government officials or utility managers. By exploring the range of incentives and policies while providing examples of operational community solar projects, this guide will help communities to plan and implement successful local energy projects. In addition, by highlighting some of the policy best practices, this guide suggests changes in the regulatory landscape that could significantly boost community solar installations across the country.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Map of Obamacare enrollment by New York State county

POLITICO New York created an interactive map showing how every county in New York performed and what percentage of a county's total population has signed up for health insurance through the state exchange created by the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act became a more popular option for Western New Yorkers and those in the Southern Tier during the second year of open enrollment. More than 15,000 Erie County residents signed up for a private health insurance plan, about 2,000 more than during the first year of open enrollment, according to state data. That's a 16-percent increase compared with the state average of 12 percent.

The reasons why there was greater growth in certain parts of the state are not entirely clear.

More from Capital New York.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Subject and Summary Series tables for the Manufacturing Sector Have Been Released

The following Subject/Summary series tables, data from the 2012 Economic Census, were released today on American FactFinder:
The Subject/Summary series includes summary data by industry and other special topics. Data is available at the national level and, for selected tables, at the state, county, or place level. For more information, see the Economic Census Subject/Summary page.

Data will be released on a flow basis by sector by topic. To view a release schedule, see what has been released, or take a sneak peek at what’s projected to be released in the next 30 days, see the Economic Census website.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The 11 Ways That Consumers Are Hopeless at Math

You walk into a Starbucks and see two deals for a cup of coffee. The first deal offers 33% extra coffee. The second takes 33% off the regular price. What's the better deal?

"They're about equal!" you'd say, if you're like the students who participated in a new study published in the Journal of Marketing. And you'd be wrong. The deals appear to be equivalent, but in fact, a 33% discount is the same as a 50 percent increase in quantity. Math time: Let's say the standard coffee is $1 for 3 quarts ($0.33 per quart). The first deal gets you 4 quarts for $1 ($0.25 per quart) and the second gets you 3 quarts for 66 cents ($.22 per quart).

The upshot: Getting something extra "for free" feels better than getting the same for less. The applications of this simple fact are huge. Selling cereal? Don't talk up the discount. Talk how much bigger the box is! Selling a car? Skip the MPG conversion. Talk about all the extra miles.

More from The Atlantic.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Hey, sports fan! - PointAfter

PointAfter is a sports analysis site that provides breaking stats, charts, scores and articles. It covers golf, major league baseball, NBA, NCAA football and men's basketball, NFL, Olympics, soccer, and a reference section about /stadiums and college programs.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Is College Worth the Expense?

The cost of attending a four-year college in the United States has increased sharply of late, from around $3,500 in the early 1980’s to around $24,000 for this upcoming academic year.

Since 1980, nothing has increased in price more than college. Not health care. Not gasoline. Not housing.

If college costs had increased with inflation since the early 1980’s, tuition this year would be a little more than $9,000 per year. What accounts for the extra $15,000 in annual expenses?

More from AIER

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What We Don’t Know About Canada Might Hurt Us

When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced plans in 2010 to make the government’s primary source of household data into a voluntary survey, researchers across Canada warned of dire consequences for the survey’s reliability. Those predictions have largely come true: In 2006, nearly 94 percent of Canadian households that received the survey responded to it. In 2011, the response rate fell below 70 percent. As a result, Statistics Canada, the country’s statistical agency, decided not to release detailed data on Snow Lake, Manitoba and more than 1,000 other communities, and researchers have called into question the validity of the data on other areas that was released.

Canada’s experience with a voluntary household survey is now drawing attention in the United States. Republican lawmakers led by Texas Congressman Ted Poe are pushing to make a similar change to the American Community Survey — a similar, annual questionnaire that aims to measure national trends in dozens of areas such as education, housing, fertility and employment by surveying more than 3 million Americans each year. Both Poe and his Canadian counterparts consider the surveys an invasion of privacy, but researchers on both sides of the border say the Canadian experiment is a harsh lesson in what can happen when a country loses its commitment to collecting accurate information about its residents.

More from

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Understanding dairy markets

This is the homepage of the University of Wisconsin Dairy Marketing and Risk Management Program and is maintained by Prof. Brian W. Gould of the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics. Most useful: pricing info.

Monday, August 10, 2015

2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual report on child well-being — the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book — focuses on the state of America’s children in the midst of the country's economic recovery. While data show improvements in child health and education, more families are struggling to make ends meet, and a growing number of kids live in high-poverty neighborhoods. In addition to ranking states in several areas of child well-being, the Data Book also examines the influence of parents’ education, health and other life circumstances on their children.

You can access the Data Book and related materials HERE.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Have a Problem with a Product or Service?

To resolve problems with a product or service you purchased, write a letter to the seller. It’s really helpful because it provides a record of your communication with the company.

This sample complaint letter can help you get an idea of what to include in your own letter.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The new New York City Census FactFinder

The NYC Planning Department's American Community Survey (ACS) update to the NYC Census Factfinder (NYC CFF) application has just been released. It is now possible to get 2009-2013 ACS profiles for Neighborhood Tabulation Areas and user defined census tract aggregations, in addition to demographic profiles from the 2000 and 2010 censuses. The ACS profiles include basic count estimates, but also percentages, means, and median estimates for custom geographies. Another key benefit of this update is that detailed statistical reliability information, including Margins of Error and Coefficients of Variation, are available for user-defined geographies. Additionally, data with poor statistical reliability are shown in gray as an alert to users.

Please see the full press release.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Evolving Role of News on Twitter and Facebook

The share of Americans for whom Twitter and Facebook serve as a source of news is continuing to rise. This rise comes primarily from more current users encountering news there rather than large increases in the user base overall, according to findings from a new survey. The report also finds that users turn to each of these prominent social networks to fulfill different types of information needs....

Although both social networks have the same portion of users getting news on these sites, there are significant differences in their potential news distribution strengths. The proportion of users who say they follow breaking news on Twitter, for example, is nearly twice as high as those who say they do so on Facebook (59% vs. 31%) – lending support, perhaps, to the view that Twitter’s great strength is providing as-it-happens coverage and commentary on live events.

These findings come at a time when the two social media platforms are increasing their emphasis on news.

See the press release and report from the Pew Research Center.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Friend of a Friend Might Be a Scammer

Social media has become a great way to communicate with friends. Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of this in order to steal your identity. Known as “farcing,” these scams start when you get a friend request from someone who supposedly shares mutual friends with you. And that's just the beginning.

Learn how to recognize and avoid this common social media scam and other online scams.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How Many People Are Mobile Addicts?

Some 280 million people worldwide are "mobile addicts" who launch applications on their devices 60 times or more per day on average, according to a recent report by Flurry from Yahoo.

The report was based on 2Q14 - 2Q15 Flurry analytics data measuring app usage on 1.8 billion smart devices around the world. The researchers viewed each device as a single "user," so a caveat to the report is that it does not account for the impact of owners of multiple devices.

Regular Users, defined in the report as consumers who use mobile apps between 1 and 16 times per day, on average, increased from 784 million to 985 million in time period period measured, a 25% year-over-year increase.

Read more from MarketingProfs

Monday, August 3, 2015

Working poor reaches 10.5 million in 2013

The number of "working poor" in the United States was 10.5 million in 2013. The working poor are people who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force during the year—either working or looking for work—but whose incomes were below the official poverty level. The working-poor rate, or the ratio of the working poor to all those in the labor force for at least 27 weeks, was 7.0 percent in 2013.

In 2013, the number of women classified as working poor (5.4 million) was higher than that of men (5.0 million). Similarly, the working-poor rate continued to be higher for women (7.8 percent) than for men (6.3 percent).

Blacks and Hispanics were more than twice as likely as Whites and Asians to be among the working poor. In 2013, the working-poor rate was 13.3 percent for Blacks, 12.8 percent for Hispanics, 6.1 percent for Whites, and 4.5 percent for Asians.

More, including charts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Profile of the Working Poor.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Advance Report on U.S. International Trade

Now available, the “Advance Report: U.S. International Trade in Goods,” presents advance statistics for June 2015 from “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services.” This new monthly report provides more timely statistics on exports and imports of goods and enables decision makers to improve their measurements of the U.S. economy. For more information, see the Director’s Blog post.