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The Commerce Blog

Secretary Locke Statement on December 2009 Retail Sales

Locke speaking from lectern.

File photo

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau released retail sales data for December 2009. Retail sales declined 0.3 percent, following strong monthly gains in October and November. Sales rose 7.0 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter, following a gain of 6.4 percent in the third quarter. “While the overall trend is in the right direction, today’s retail sales data show that we have more work to do,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. (More) (Report)

Secretary Locke Announces $7.5 Million in Recovery Act Investment to Increase Broadband Access in LA

Locke, Boxer and Villaraigosa at table with young child.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was joined by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at a South Los Angeles WorkSource Center to announce a $7.5 million Recovery Act grant to upgrade and expand 188 computer centers that provide the public with free broadband access to the Internet. The grant to the Los Angeles’ Computer Access Network will help bridge the technological divide and improve access to job and computer training and educational opportunities. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Statement on November 2009 Trade in Goods and Services Report

Department of Commerce seal

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the November 2009 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 increased by 0.9 percent to $138.2 billion since October 2009. Imports increased 2.6 percent to $174.6 billion. (More) (Fact Sheet) (Release)

USPTO to Hold Live Online Chat for Independent Inventors

Photo of inventors with large-screen monitor. Clcik to go to home page of USPTO Web site.

File Photo

Senior officials of the Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office USPTO) will be available live online Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (EST), answering questions and offering tips for independent inventors. Instructions for taking part in the online chat will be posted on the USPTO Web site at 10 a.m. (EST) Tuesday. Inventors can begin logging on for the chat at 1:30 p.m. The independent inventor on-line chat is part of the USPTO’s continuing effort to promote and protect America’s independent inventor community. (More)

NOAA Ranks December Snowstorm a Category 3 on Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale

Graphic of snowfall accumulation from Dec. 18-21, 2009 storm. Click for larger image

To the surprise of no one affected by the Dec. 18-20, 2009 system that dumped heavy snow from the mid-Atlantic to southern New England, NOAA has rated the storm a Category 3 or “Major” winter storm on NOAA’s Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale, also known as NESIS. Topping the NESIS scale—and the only storms rated Category 5—are the “Superstorm” on March, 1993 followed by the “Blizzard of ’96” in January, 1996. The scale, developed in 2004, catalogues storms dating back to 1888. (More)

NIST Awards $27 Million in Recovery Act Grants to Construct New Research Facilities

Artist's drawing of proposed facility at Nova Southeastern Niversity. Click for larger image.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded more than $123 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants to support the construction of new scientific research facilities at 11 universities and one non-profit research organization. With ultimate research targets ranging from off-shore wind power and coral reef ecology to quantum physics and nanotechnology, the 12 projects will launch more than $250 million in new laboratory construction projects beginning early this year. (More)

Secretary Locke Urges New Emphasis on Innovation, R&D, to Increase Competitiveness and Create Jobs

Secretary Locke at podium. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to discuss approaches to fixing an "innovation deficit" hindering America's ability to develop new businesses and create new jobs. PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who provide advice to President Obama, offering insights and policy recommendations concerning a full range of issues in science, technology, and innovation. PCAST is administered by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). (Remarks)

Commerce Department to Kick Off 2010 Census 'Portrait of America' Road Tour in New York City

Secretary Locke, Director Groves and Meredith Viera, Matt Lauer, Al Roker and AnnCurry from NBC's "Today Show" with 2010 Census NATIONAL vehicle behind. Click for larger image.

Monday, Jan. 4, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will join the Census Bureau in launching the 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour, a cross-country, interactive experience designed to educate the public about the importance of participating in the census and mailing back census forms this March. Locke and Census Bureau Director Robert Groves will kick off the national tour in New York City. Meanwhile, 12 regional tours will kick off across the country, including events in Boston and in Los Angeles with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. (More) (Road Trip vehicles) (2010 Census Web site) (Secretary’s blog) (Boston event photo)

Census Bureau Projects U.S. Population of 308.4 Million on New Year's Day 2010

Image of clock with cartoon of baby with top hat. Click to go to U.S. population clock.

On the eve of the 2010 Census, as the Census Bureau prepares to conduct an actual count of the nation’s population, the bureau projects that on Jan. 1, 2010—three months out from Census Day—the total U.S. population will be 308,400,408. This would represent an increase of 2,606,181, or 0.9 percent, from New Year’s Day 2009. In January 2010, one birth is expected to occur every eight seconds in the United States and one death every 12 seconds. (More) (U.S. Population Clock) (2010 Census)

The 2009 Holiday Season

U.S. Department of Commerce Fourteenth Street main entrance with holiday wreaths and bows above doors. Click for larger image.

The holiday season is a time for gathering with friends and family to reflect and give thanks. At this time of year, the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Census Bureau presents holiday-related facts and figures from its data collection, including the details about mail, retail sales, toys, trees and decorations and much more. The Census Bureau projects the nation’s population at 308 million as we ring in the New Year 2010. Happy Holidays from the U.S. Department of Commerce! (More)