Food services is among the worst-performing sectors in the Midwest

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Using the U.S. Census Bureau County Business Patterns data, we can take a deeper look at how the business profiles of different U.S. regions have changed in the recent years. In this post, we focus on the industry sectors in the Midwest.

The following map displays the average payroll by county. As you can see, there is not much variation here, with larger cities having predictably slightly higher payrolls. Many of the counties with higher-than-average payrolls are actually outliers with a small population, like Slope County in North Dakota, which had a population of around 750 in 2012.

Let’s take a look at how the business profiles have changed throughout the region since 2007. In order to compare different business sectors, we have adjusted 2007 data to reflect the nationwide trends. That way, for example, the nationwide decrease in Construction jobs we mentioned earlier won’t significantly affect the result, allowing us to see the local changes in employment numbers.

There are sectors which clearly performed better or worse over the five years. On the negative side, there has been a significant decrease in the Food Services and Drinking Places sectors, comprising both full and limited-service restaurants as well as pubs. The number of employees in this sector has decreased by more than 86,000. Another impressive number here is a threefold decrease in the Air Transportation sector employment.

On the other side of the spectrum is the Specialty Trade Contractors sector, described by the North American Industry Classification System as establishments performing activities during building construction which are common but not essential to the entire project. Its dynamics were not as bad as the other Construction businesses, according to the post mentioned earlier. This sector has added 60,000 jobs (again, according to the adjusted data we are using).

Source: U.S. Census Bureau County Business Patterns data


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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

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