Our expenditures and debts on the rise, again

Kristine Barseghyan

Kristine Barseghyan, Ph.D. (ABD) Social Sciences

In this post, we’ll examine the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2012 Consumer Expenditure Report. After almost four years of abstinence, Americans started spending again. In 2012, the average expenditures per consumer rose to $51,442, which is 3.5 percent higher than in 2011. It exceeded the highest spending recorded in 2008, after which the effects of the recession led to a low of $48,109 in 2010. In 2011, when the average expenditures and prices for goods and services had almost the same increase rate, there was hardly any increase in actual expenditures at all. In 2012, expenditures rose more than prices.

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Seasonal lending patterns: when are the most loans defaulted?

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Today we take a look at the seasonal aspect of peer-to-peer lending. Thanks to data provided by Prosper (https://www.prosper.com/tools/DataExport.aspx) we can perform a quantitative analysis of loan charge-off times and find if there are any seasonal patterns present.

First, let’s take a look at the lifespan distribution of a defaulted loan. We see that the default rates increase significantly during the first months, with the largest number of defaults registered in the eighth and ninth months after origination.

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Gun crime statistics in the U.S.

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Gun violence is one of the most widely-discussed topics in American society. Gun-related accidents and crimes take place literally every day. Shocking statistics of deaths and injuries as a result of gun violence can’t be missed. According to Gunviolencearchive.org, 51,700 incidents occurred in 2014 in the United States. More than 12,000 people were killed and 23,000 injured in accidents involving firearms. Perhaps the most terrible fact is that 628 children were killed or injured as a result of gun accidents last year.

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U.S. economic growth: gross domestic product

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

Gross domestic product is commonly used to measure the economic performance of a country. GDP equals the value of all the goods and services produced in the economy minus the value of any goods or services used during the production process. Another name for this quantity is “value added.” Recently, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released data on GDP by industry for 2016. Today we will look at this data to see different industries’ contributions to the U.S. economy’s growth in the last year.

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Why finance jobs are dependent on the economy

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

How much does the state of the economy affect jobs in the finance sector? According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns data, different industries in this sector exhibit significantly different patterns.

Most of all, we are interested in how finance jobs were affected by the 2007-08 crisis, and if they are influenced by financial markets.

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E-commerce small businesses in the Midwest are booming

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Recently, we published a series of posts about the regional patterns in employment changes. Naturally, most of the time the greatest growth occurred in larger industries, such as hospitals or schools.

It would be interesting to see the same patterns specifically relating to small businesses in the Midwest. For this purpose, we focused on establishments with fewer than 10 employees so that our study includes sole proprietors as well as small firms.

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Dynamics of home-based working in the US

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Working from home is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. The number of people who prefer to use their own dwelling as a workplace increased slightly in the recent years. People who work 9 to 5 may start asking questions like, “who actually are home-based workers?” and “why don’t they fancy a typical job in the office?” There are main types of such workers: home workers, who work exclusively from home, home-based workers, who work from home partly or all the time, and mixed workers, who work both from home and from the office.

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How good is the Prosper borrower rating?

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

For a regular investor, the single most important field in the Prosper dataset is Prosper borrower rating. This is an estimate of a borrower’s creditworthiness based on various other metrics, including employment length, number of open accounts, prior delinquencies and many others. Based on the aggregate score, the borrowers are then split into seven groups: AA, A, B and so on. Alternatively, an investor may use numerical ratings ranging from 1 to 7, with 7 corresponding to the safest, most trustworthy borrowers.

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Small businesses in the Northeast are more popular along the coast

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Several posts we made previously focused on finding regional patterns in the employment numbers changes for U.S. regions. Unsurprisingly, the lists are dominated by industries from the larger sectors like healthcare and education.

What we would like to do next is to take a look at the distribution of the number of small businesses in the Northeast, both geographical and among industry sectors. In this series, we focus on the businesses falling into the first two columns of the County Business Profile data: establishments with fewer than 10 employees.

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