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Mining BEA Data by Jeannine Aversa and Thomas Dail

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Jeannine Aversa and Thomas Dail present "Mining BEA Data," part of the free business journalism workshop, "Breaking Local Stories with Economic Data," hosted by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

This presentation focuses on the D.C. region, however the tools and resources provided can be applied anywhere in the United States.

For more information about free training for business journalists, please visit businessjournalism.org.

Published in: Career
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Mining BEA Data by Jeannine Aversa and Thomas Dail

  1. 1. Mining  BEA  Economic  Data  to   Break  Local  Stories       Thomas Dail and Jeannine Aversa U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis April 4, 2013
  2. 2. Where  to  Begin?   §  You  might  have  a  hunch  about  something  that  is  happening   in  your  local  economy.  Or,  you  are  on  the  hunt  for  a   compelling  data  point  to  build  a  story  around.     §  Either  way,  if  you  are  willing  to  take  the  =me  to  analyze   BEA’s  interac=ve  database  of  local  economic  sta=s=cs,  the   odds  are  good  that  you  will  come  away  with  an   enterprising  story.    www.bea.gov   2
  3. 3. Our  Story   §  Before  we  dig  in,  we  want  to  tell  you  a  liBle   about  ourselves.   fr §  I’m  Jeannine  Aversa,  I’m  chief  of  public  affairs   and  outreach  at  the  BEA.  Before  I  joined  the   bureau  in  September  2011,  I  worked  as  a   journalist  for  nearly  30  years.  For  more  than  a   decade,  I  was  The  Associated  Press’  chief   economics  writer,  covering  the  Federal  Reserve,   the  Treasury    Department,  the  IMF,  World  Bank   and  of  course  –  all  the  major  economic   indicators!    www.bea.gov  
  4. 4. Our  Story   §  I’m  Tom  Dail,  and  I’m  a  public  affairs   specialist  at  the  BEA.    I  bring  a  dozen   years  worth  of  experience  in  newspaper   repor=ng  and  in  public  rela=ons.  Before   joining  the  bureau,  I  covered  poli=cs  and   business  for  Freedom  Communica=ons   in  North  Carolina  www.bea.gov  
  5. 5. Today’s  Goals   §  We  will  walk  you  through  the  types  of  local  economic   sta=s=cs  BEA  has  available  on  its  public  website  and  their   importance.   §  We  will  dissect  several  news  stories  using  BEA  sta=s=cs  and   tell  you  how  to  find  them.   §  We  will  ask  you  to  mine  BEA’s  database  for  specific  data   points.        www.bea.gov  
  6. 6. Where  to  Begin?   §  From  BEA’s  public  website  (www.bea.gov),  you  can   access  a  treasure  trove  of  local  economic  sta=s=cs  by   using  our  interac=ve  database.   §  Want  to  find  out  how  fast  your  local  economy  is   growing?  The  forces  suppor=ng  growth  or  restraining  it?   You’ll  want  to  analyze  Gross  Domes=c  Product  sta=s=cs     that  BEA  produces  by  state  or  metro  area.    www.bea.gov   6
  7. 7. Where  to  Begin?   §  Want  to  find  out  how  much   people  in  your  state,  county  or   metro  area  earn?  Which   industries  are  paying  more  or   less?     §  How  much  is  paid  in  Social   Security,  Medicare,   unemployment  insurance  and   other  government  benefits?     §   Then  you’ll  want  to  troll  through   our  income  sta=s=cs  by  state,   county  or  metro  area.  www.bea.gov   7
  8. 8. Where  to  Begin?   §  By  analyzing  BEA’s  local  economic  data,  you’ll  be  able  to   spot  trends  and  gather  historical  context.  You  might   unearth  data  points  that  run  counter  to  “conven=onal   wisdom”  –  useful  in  producing  a  myth-­‐bus=ng  story.     §  Before  you  dive  into  BEA’s  database,  you  probably  will   want  to  take  =me  to  scan  the  local  economic  reports  we   produce.  www.bea.gov   8
  9. 9. Where  to  Begin?   A  sampling  of  our  published   reports:   §  GDP  by  Metro  Area.   Sta=s=cs  for  2011.   Released  Feb.  22   §  State  Quarterly  Personal   Income.  Final  quarter  of   2012.    March  27  release   date.    Quarterly  sta=s=cs   for  2013  released  June  28,   Sept.  30  and  Dec.  19.    www.bea.gov  
  10. 10. Where  to  Begin?   A  sampling  of  our  published   reports:   §  GDP  by  State.  Sta=s=cs  for   2012.  June  6,  release  date.   §  Local  Area  Personal   Income.  Sta=s=cs  for  2012.     Nov.  21  release  date.    www.bea.gov  
  11. 11. Anatomy  of  a  Story   §  “Bad  Luck  and  Hard   Times  on  the  Menu  at  a   Bus  Terminal  in  West   Virginia,”  The  New  York   Times,  May  11,  2011.   §  Uses  BEA  data  to  unearth  this  sta=s=c:  manufacturing  jobs   fell  by  nearly  40  percent  in  West  Virginia  since  1990.   §  Built  story  around  this  data  point  by  examining  the  ripple   effect  of  those  job  losses  on  the  West  Virginia  town  of   Weirton.      www.bea.gov  
  12. 12. Finding  the  Data   §  We’re  going  to  walk  you  through  how  to  find  these  data   point.  (Live  demo  takes  place  here,  accompanied  by  handout   of  instruc=ons.)     §  Now  it’s  your  turn.    Exercise  1.  Find  the  rate  of  growth  or   decline  in  manufacturing  jobs  located  in  the  Louisville  metro   area  from  2001  to  2011.    www.bea.gov  
  13. 13. Anatomy  of  a  Story   §  “Trade-­‐linked  service  jobs  help  lead  El  Paso  income   gains”   §  El  Paso  Times,  Sept.  5,  2012  www.bea.gov  
  14. 14. Anatomy  of  a  Story   §  Reporter  used  BEA  data  as  the  basis  for  the  story  but  fleshed  it   out  by  talking  to  local  experts.   §  El  Pasos  per-­‐capita  income  grew  4  percent  per  year  from  2001   through  2010  while  na=onal  per-­‐capita  income  grew  2.8   percent.     §  Growth  was  aBributed  to  finance,  real  estate  and  management   =ed  to  cross-­‐border  trade  and  manufacturing  growth  in   Mexico.  www.bea.gov  
  15. 15. Finding  the  Data   §  We’re  going  to  walk  you  through  how  to  find  these  data   points.  (Live  demo  takes  place  here,  accompanied  by  handout   of  instruc=ons.)   §  Now  it’s  your  turn.    Exercise  2.  Per  capita  personal  income   growth  for  the  El  Paso  metro  area  2001-­‐2010.  Find  the   increase  in  employment  in  finance,  real  estate,  and   professional  services  over  that  =me.    www.bea.gov  
  16. 16. Anatomy  of  a  Story   §  “Wealth  Rises  in  America’s  Heartland”  USA  Today,  Nov.  27,   2012.   §  Here’s  an  example  of   how  reporters  can   analyze  BEA’s  local   economic  data  to   produce  a  na=onal   story.  www.bea.gov  
  17. 17. Anatomy  of  a  Story   §  USA  Today  analyzed  BEA’s  per-­‐capita  personal-­‐income  data   for  metro  areas  and  for  coun=es.    (Note:  USA  Today  adjusted   BEA’s  figures  for  infla=on.)       §   Bridgeport-­‐Stamford,  Conn.,  metro  area  had  income  of   $78,504  per  person  in  2011,  the  most  affluent  place  in  the   country  in  the  past  decade,  USA  Today  reported.    www.bea.gov  
  18. 18. Finding  the  Data   §  We’re  going  to  walk  you  through  how  to  find  these  data   points.  (Live  demo  takes  place  here,  accompanied  by  handout   of  instruc=ons.   §  Now  it’s  your  turn.    Exercise  3.  Find  per-­‐capita  personal   income  for  all  metro  areas.  Rank  them.  Where  does  Louisville   stand?    www.bea.gov  
  19. 19. Anatomy  of  a  Story   §  Houston  tops  list  for   fastest  growth   §  Houston  Chronicle,   February  22,  2013    §  Based  on  the  metro  GDP  report  released  in  late  February,  the   author  spoke  to  a  local  expert  to  dig  into  the  details  of  the   local  story.  §  Infla=on-­‐adjusted  gross  domes=c  product  for  Houston-­‐Sugar   Land-­‐Baytown  increased  3.7  percent  in  2011.    www.bea.gov  
  20. 20. Finding  the  Data   §  We’re  going  to  walk  you  through  how  to  find  these  data   points.  (Live  demo  takes  place  here,  accompanied  by  handout   of  instruc=ons.)   §  Now  it’s  your  turn.    Exercise  4.  Find  overall  real  GDP  for  the   Houston  metro  area  in  2011.  Find  Houston-­‐metro  real  GDP   growth  for  construc=on.  www.bea.gov  
  21. 21. Anatomy  of  a  Story   §  “A  Tricky  Science,”  Durango  Herald,  Oct.  7,  2012   §  “The  USA  Pro  Cycling   Challenge  brought   world  media  to   Durango  as  well  as   thousands  of   spectators.  But  it’s   unclear  how  much   special  events  such  as   the  bicycle  race  help   the  economy.”    –  Durango  Herald  www.bea.gov   2
  22. 22. Anatomy  of  a  Story   §  Reporter  dissects  a  regional  economic-­‐impact  study.  Turns  to   BEA’s  User  Guide  on  “RIMS  II”  Regional  Input-­‐Output   Mul=pliers  to  help  analyze  and  truth  squad  a  study.   §  User  Guide  can  be  found  at   hBp://bea.gov/regional/rims/index.cfm      www.bea.gov  
  23. 23. Helpful  Videos  to  Find  Local  Data     §  You  can  find  links  to  two   videos  on  how  to  find  more   local  BEA  data  at   hBp://bit.ly/econdata13.   §  How  to  find   employee  compensa=on   by  industry  for  a  given   county   §  How  to  find   gross  domes=c  product   (total  goods  and  services   produced)  per  capita  in  a   metro  area  www.bea.gov  
  24. 24. Where  to  Find  Us   §  BEA’s  Media  Line:  202-­‐606-­‐2649   §  Jeannine  Aversa,  chief  of  public  affairs  and  outreach.   Jeannine.Aversa@bea.gov.  202-­‐606-­‐9327   §  Thomas  Dail,  public  affairs  specialist.  Thomas.Dail@bea.gov.   202-­‐606-­‐9209     §  h"p:/bit.ly/econdata13    for    workshop  slides,  videos,   handouts  www.bea.gov  

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