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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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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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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The Phillips Curve Relevance in Indiana in the 21st Century

Nirad Inamdar

Nirad Inamdar, Ph.D. Student Economics and Business Environment

The Phillips curve is a mathematical study of the relationship between inflation and unemployment in an economy. We know that for any place or region — and consequently, for its government — some of the primary goals are:

  1. high Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita
  2. high trade deficit (more exports than imports)
  3. low percentage of below poverty line (BPL) families
  4. low unemployment
  5. low inflation, especially of essential goods

However, achieving all of these goals at once is the economic equivalent of Utopia. It requires a veritable balancing act to manage these goals because they are conflicting in nature. Every year, administrators face a trade-off. One of these is between inflation and unemployment. Intuitively, we understand that to reduce unemployment, the government gives incentives and creates more jobs. While this increases the GDP output, it also reduces the supply of labor in the market. Ironically, the reduction in the available workforce makes labor costly and wages increase. This causes inflation.

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Owners prefer to build small homes outside of metro areas

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

As anyone who has looked to buy a new house likely knows, there are basically four types of houses. Some are built for sale or for rent, and some are built by owners, either with help from a contractor or by themselves. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction provides us with this data on each surveyed home.

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Fake news and stories on social media

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

As we saw in a previous article about digital news, there are many sources for the news today, including public social media. But are they actually true? According to a survey conducted by BuzzFeed in 2017, about 5 percent of respondents in the United States always trusted the news they saw on social media. The largest share of the respondents (31 percent) said that they trusted news on social media about half the time, while 28 percent of the respondents stated that they rarely trusted news on social media. Interestingly, 17 percent of respondents almost never trusted the news they saw on social media. Around 10 percent of people trusted news on social media most of the time.

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