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Blog Category: Economics and Statistics Administration

Acting Deputy Secretary Blank Speaks at U.S. Chamber on Impact of Women in Business on the Economy

Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank Addresses the CrowdU.S. Commerce Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank discussed women in business at a forum today at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Blank highlighted key findings from a recent Commerce Department report on “Women-Owned Businesses in the 21st Century,” produced by the department’s Economics and Statistics Administration, and addressed the prospects and opportunities of starting a business in today’s economy.  

The Women in Business Forum included a series of remarks and panels with successful women from the public and private sectors. Learn more about the Commerce Department report on women-owned businesses

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U.S. Census Bureau Releases First Set of 5-Year American Community Survey Estimates

American Community Survey graphicThe U.S. Census Bureau today released 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) estimates for the first time, making available social, economic, housing and demographic statistics for every community in the nation.

Until now, small geographic areas had to rely on outdated 2000 Census figures for detailed information about the characteristics of their communities. Consisting of about 11.1 billion individual estimates and covering more than 670,000 distinct geographies, the 5-year ACS estimates give even the smallest communities more timely information on topics ranging from commute times to languages spoken at home to housing values.

Public officials, including mayors and governors, and private organizations such as chambers of commerce, rely on ACS estimates on education, housing, jobs, veteran status and commuting patterns to help them make informed decisions that will affect their community, such as where to build new schools, hospitals and emergency services.

The extensive data are based on a rolling annual sample survey mailed to about 3 million addresses between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2009. By pooling several years of survey responses, the ACS generates detailed statistical portraits of smaller geographies.

Separate from the 2010 Census, ACS estimates complement the decennial count and provide estimates of population characteristics that are far more detailed than the basic demographic information that will be released from the 2010 Census starting in February.  |  Noticias en español

Facts for Features: Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 2010

Image of cornucopeiaIn the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims, early settlers of Plymouth Colony, held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest, an event many regard as the nation's first Thanksgiving. Historians have also recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Virginia in 1619. The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday in 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.  Facts and more for Thanksgiving Day

Census Bureau Introduces New Economic Indicators Search Tool

The Department of Commerce's Census Bureau has introduced a new, user-friendly Internet tool that takes all the guesswork out of finding, downloading and using data from economic indicators. For the first time, users can access data from multiple indicators in one place and all in the same format. This tool provides an easy way to create data tables in ASCII text or time series charts in your favorite spreadsheet format. Users can select an indicator and choose data by item, time period and other dimensions using drop-down menus. Of the Census Bureau's 12 economic indicators, four are operational in the new tool now -- international trade, manufactures' shipments, monthly wholesale trade and quarterly services; the remainder are expected to be available in this database throughout the course of 2011.

New Commerce Department Report Shows Broadband Adoption Rises Though 'Gap' Persists

Cover of Digital Nation II reportThe Department of Commerce's Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today released a new report that analyzes broadband Internet access and adoption across the United States. “Digital Nation II” – the most comprehensive study of its kind – finds that socio-economic factors such as income and education levels, although strongly associated with broadband Internet use, are not the sole determinants of use. Even after accounting for socioeconomic differences, significant gaps remain along racial, ethnic and geographic lines.

According to the report, seven out of ten American households used the Internet in 2009. The majority of these households used broadband to access the Internet at home. However, almost one-fourth of all households did not have an Internet user.

The report analyzes data collected through an Internet Usage Survey of 54,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in October 2009. Earlier this year, NTIA released initial findings from the survey, which showed that while virtually all demographic groups have experienced rising broadband Internet adoption at home and 64 percent of households overall have broadband at home, historic disparities among demographic groups have persisted over time.

Read the full report | Release

Efforts to Support American Women Highlighted in Commerce and White House Reports

Sec. Locke Meets with Economic Team This week the National Economic Council released a report on the impact of the recession on women and how the Obama administration’s economic policies benefit American women. Some of these policies include a tax credit for college for working families, expanded and increased student aid, and more manageable loan repayment so women can get the education they need to succeed. The report lays out the economic landscape facing women today and details some of the many ways the administration is committed to making sure the government is working for all Americans, especially American women.

The Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) further explored the state of American women and Women-Owned Businesses in the 21st Century in a report issued earlier this month for the White House Council on Women and Girls.  According to the report, women-owned businesses are steadily expanding and account for $1.2 trillion in economic output. Yet they continue to lag behind other companies in several key indicators.

To help reverse this trend, the Obama administration has invested in women’s education and expanded the capital available for women to start a business. The White House has already given out more than 12,000 Small Business Administration Recovery Act loans totaling more than $3 billion to women-owned small businesses.

Learn more about what the administration is doing on behalf of women and the economy and women-owned businesses, or read the reports.

Secretary Locke Commends the Nation’s Strong Participation in the 2010 Census as Final Numbers Come In

Census 2010 logoSecretary Locke congratulated the nation today on its strong participation in the 2010 Census after the U.S. Census Bureau released the final mail participation rate of 74 percent, matching the final mail participation rate achieved in the 2000 Census. More than 22 states, 1,553 counties, and 278 cities and other geographies met or exceeded their 2000 Census participation rates. 

“I’d like to thank the American people for their cooperation and participation in the 2010 Census,” Locke said. “With their help, we were able to match the participation rates of 2000 in a time of declining survey participation and save taxpayer money by reducing the need for costly door-to-door follow up.”  

America’s strong mail participation is part of the reason the U.S. Census Bureau was able to announce $1.6 billion in 2010 Census operational savings in August.  More than 250,000 partner organizations and a far-reaching communications campaign helped alert people across the country about the importance of mailing back their 2010 Census form.

Find your area’s final mail participation rate on the 2010 Census’s interactive “Take 10” Map at http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/2010textview.php.   Release  |  Census release

Celebrating World Statistics Day, Oct. 20, 2010

The United Nations General Assembly designated Oct. 20, 2010, as the first-ever World Statistics Day to highlight the importance of official statistics and the many achievements of national statistical systems.  Statistical organizations throughout the world will celebrate World Statistics Day today at the national and regional level. The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis and 12 other principal federal statistical agencies together have been collecting statistics about the nation’s people, economy and society since the first national census in 1790. Check out the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features special edition on World Statistics Day. 



Census Facts for Features | Facts for Features en español | World Statistics Day videos

New U.S. Census Bureau Data on Retail Sales and Business Inventories Show Solid Gains

File photo of Secretary Locke seated at conference tableToday, the U.S. Census Bureau released retail sales data for September 2010 and data on manufacturing and trade inventories and sales for August 2010. Both retail sales and business inventories rose 0.6 percent, exceeding private-sector expectations. Monthly sales for retail and food services in September increased 7.3 percent from September 2009, and business inventories in August rose 4.7 percent from August 2009.

“Retails sales have shown strong growth over the last three months,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “This rising trend signals that consumer spending is expanding and that the recovery is broadening. The outlook for sustained growth remains positive, and this administration remains focused on continuing the economic turnaround that has now seen four straight quarters of GDP growth and nine straight months in which the private sector has added jobs.”  Statement  |  Report on retail sales  |  Report on manufacturing and trade

Statement from Secretary Locke on August 2010 U.S. International Trade

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the August 2010 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports in August 2010 increased by 0.2 percent to $153.9 billion from their July 2010 level. Imports in August increased 2.1 percent over July to $200.2 billion. U.S. exports so far in 2010 are up nearly 18 percent compared to the same period last year.  Report  |  Statement  |  Fact sheet