The complexity of airline pricing systems can make it difficult to follow trends in air travel prices. As Garrison Keillor once quipped, thanks to modern technology, its possible for 300 people to fly together safely on a plane between any pair of cities in the United States without any two passengers paying the same fare. Good data on historical price trends in the airline industry are often hard to find, and consist mainly of national aggregate data that don't show how things are changing in particular markets. One exception is our April site of the month, the Department of Transportation's Air Travel Price Index, which reports quarterly changes in air travel prices in 17 major metropolitan airports. In the index you'll find data for fortress hubs (airports dominated by a single carrier), leisure destinations, and airports served (or contested) by low cost carriers. Assembled by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, data are compiled from a 10 percent sample of actual tickets written, and so capture the prices consumers actually pay for travel. The price index begins in 1995, with the most recent data covering the second quarter of 2003. As you contemplate your spring and summer travel plans, consider a visit to our site of the month, which you'll find at:
Between decennial census years, the richest and most detailed source of information about the nation's housing comes from the American Housing Survey (AHS). Less well understood, and less frequently used than the Decennial Census, the AHS is conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and provides data for 47 metro areas on a six-year cycle. Data include housing stock, vacant housing units, household characteristics, income, housing and neighborhood quality, housing costs, equipment and fuels, size of housing unit, and recent movers.
A new Census Bureau report, Housing Data Between the Censuses, explains the background of the AHS and provides a useful guide to understanding, finding and using this data. You'll find this useful report at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/ahsr04-1.pdf
The AHS web site: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/ahs.html
How long it takes to get to work--and how we get there, is a frequent topic
of discussion. Data from the 2000 Census show, as most of us already know,
that American's commute times are getting longer. The state-by-state
picture on commuting times and commuting modes--how many of us drove alone,
carpooled, walked, rode bicycles, and worked at home, is laid out in a new
Census report "Journey to Work 2000." You can see a summary of
the state data in Table 5 of the report, available at:
In a knowledge-based economy, the decisive asset is talented workers.
The American Community Survey gives us insight into the concentration of talent
in states and the nation's largest cities and counties. This new Census
Bureau analysis "Graduate Degree Ranking" provides details on the
number of persons with graduate or professional degrees in each of the nation's
50 states, and cities and counties with populations of 250,000 or more.
Massachusetts leads all US states, Seattle has more graduate degree holders as a
fraction of its population than any other large US city, and Montgomery County
Maryland (in the Washington, DC suburbs) leads large US counties. To see
the details, visit:
April's new links focus on entrepreneurship and small business.
Data on establishments with no paid employees, typically self-employed individuals and partnerships, by industry, for states, metro areas, and counties.
1997 Economic Census, Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses
Query-based access to firm and establishment data by race and gender of ownership, by industry, for states, metro areas, counties, and places.
Center for Women's Business Research
Minority Women-Owned Businesses
Profile of businesses owned by African-American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and Native American and Alaska Native women, by state, projected 2002.
National Commission on Entrepreneurship
High-Growth Company Index
Measurement of high-growth business activity in each of 394 Labor Market Areas (covering the entire country), 1992-1997.
Small Business Administration
Small Business Finance
Reports and studies on small business lending activity, by state.