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Economic Briefing Blog

Data Jobs Will Keep Adding Up

Simple arithmetic tells us that data jobs are good.  They pay well, have low unemployment rates, and are expanding across many industries. More complicated arithmetic projects a bright future of growth.  Over the decade ending 2022, employment in data occupations—in which data analysis and processing are central to the work performed—is projected to grow 14.5 percent, faster than the 10.4 percent projected growth of ("for") non-data jobs. Research first published in The Importance of Data Occupations in the U.S. Economy highlights that these jobs not only are multiplying, but that they pay more than $40 an hour on average.  Data workers also are very unlikely to be unemployed.   This blog examines projected future growth in this field, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2012-2022 employment projections.

Second Natural Capital Business Roundtable Set for June 12th in Cleveland

First roundtable held in Houston on April 16th and hosted by the Center for Energy Studies at Rice  University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.On June 12th, a joint team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) will head to Cleveland, OH, for the second in a series of five Department of Commerce Natural Capital Business Roundtables. The information needs that businesses identify during the roundtables will shape the development of a Commerce Department website to help businesses improve their bottom lines by considering natural capital in planning and operations. Natural capital includes the air, water, soil, and living resources that provide a range of goods and services on which the global economy depends.

Recent Trends in Manufacturing

Since the Great Recession, manufacturing has experienced a period of growth. In our June 2014 report, Manufacturing Since the Great Recession, Ryan Noonan and I provided an overview of recent trends in manufacturing. This blog updates those facts.  What we find is that while manufacturing is still recovering, the rebound has slowed somewhat in recent months.

Digitally Deliverable Services Remain an Important Component of U.S. Trade

Last year, DOC economist Jessica Nicholson and I wrote "Digital Economy and Cross-Border Trade: The Value of Digitally-Deliverable Services." In that report, we estimated the total value of U.S. trade in digitally-deliverable services—i.e., services that may be, but are not necessarily, delivered digitally. Since the publication of our report, we have received many requests to provide updated data on this valuable sector of our economy.

With a Low Unemployment Rate, Data Workers are High in Demand

Across the U.S. economy, data jobs are multiplying and the digits on their paychecks are attractive.  New numbers highlight another benefit to workers in this field—very low unemployment rates.  The unemployment rate for data jobs was just 3.1 percent in 2014, or half the national average.

Partly Voluntary, Partly Not – A Look at Part-Time Workers

Regularly working 35 or more hours—the Bureau of Labor Statistics' definition cutoff for "full-time"—is a typical criterion for considering a job to be "good." (Others include the pay and breadth of benefits.)  As the economic expansion continues to unfold, full-time employment is growing. In March 2015, 121 million people were working full-time, up from a low of 110.6 in December 2009, but still somewhat short of the pre-recession high of 121.9 in November 2007. For the 27.7 million workers who worked part-time hours as of March 2015, (i.e.

The New Spirit of Sustainable Business: Prosper by 'Doing Good' as Commerce Department Launches First of Five Natural Capital Business Round Tables

Nature provides several trillion dollars' worth of inputs and services vital to long-term business success – indeed, one study shows our global 'natural living infrastructure' produces $21-72 trillion in annual goods and services.  However, because clean water and air; fertile soil; buffers to floods, droughts, fires, and extreme weather are not traded or sold in the marketplace, their value has been largely unaccounted for in business decisions and market transactions. 

Reinvesting in America’s Supply Chain Innovation

Photo taken during a field trip to Itron, one of several companies we visited.It's springtime, and during this season of growth and renewal another important renaissance is underway: a remarkable resurgence in American manufacturing.  Powering this growth are the small- and medium-sized businesses that comprise the U.S. manufacturing supply chain. 

Data Snapshot: Which states are leading the way in manufacturing and which pay the most?

Just over one week ago, the U.S. Census Bureau's Economic Census staff released new manufacturing statistics for more than 350 manufacturing industries at the state and local level. California led the way with number of establishments (38,741) and employees (1.2 million) -- and was second only to Texas in the value of shipments from manufacturing establishments ($512.3 billion). 

Data Snapshot of the Week: Baby, It's Cold Outside

Figure 1. House Heating ChartWhat are the coldest locations in the United States, and what heating sources do residents in those chilly climes rely upon to warm up their homes?

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