Why Attend the Conference? Learn About New Datasets

By APDU Board Member Mauricio Ortiz, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Two new federal datasets worth keeping an eye on, the Community Resilience Estimates (CRE) from the Census Bureau and the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) by state estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).  Both these datasets should help shed light on the course of the economic recovery across the country from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CRE estimates are a relatively new data set that provides county and census tract level estimates of “community resilience”.  Community resilience defined as “the capacity of individuals and households to absorb, endure, and recover from the health, social, and economic impacts of a disaster such as a hurricane or pandemic.” Using micro data from the American Community Survey (ACS) and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), individual and household characteristics are used to measure 11 risk factors in each census tract and county. The 11 risk factors determine each geography’s CRE scores. The scores reflect a best guess of a geography’s capacity and resources to overcome the obstacles presented during a hazardous event.  The 11 risk factors include things like income to poverty ratios for households, households with no employed persons, individuals with no health insurance coverage, individuals 65 years or older, and individuals with diabetes.  In my opinion, a unique and interesting data set that if paired with other statistics, such as GDP and personal income by county estimates, may tell us insightful information of how the economic recovery is playing out across the country.

For more information visit the CRE webpage:

https://www.census.gov/data/experimental-data-products/community-resilience-estimates.html

The PCE by state estimates are a data set that has been around since 2014 and are available from 1997 forward. This October, when BEA releases annual estimates of PCE by state for 2020, BEA plans to expand the state-by-state consumer spending estimates for the whole time series. Providing more detail by type of product and by function that matches the level of detail already made available by BEA for the national estimates. Spending expenditures by type of product will be expanded from 24 product types to 113 product types and spending expenditures by type of function will be made available for 124 function types. These additional statistics will help paint a more nuanced picture of spending by individuals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and shed light on how consumer behavior changed during the pandemic.

For more information visit the PCE by state webpage:

https://www.bea.gov/data/consumer-spending/state

Why attend APDU’s annual conference? You can learn more about publicly available datasets like the two I have described. You get to meet and make connections with the individuals engaged in producing these statistics; and you get to see how publicly available data is being used to inform decisions and research.  These are the things that make attending the APDU annual conference special. I hope to see you there.

APDU Treasurer