What's New - September 2003
September's Site of the Month represents another significant step forward in the effort to make data presentation on the web more transparent and meaningful. Windows on Urban Poverty (www.urbanpoverty.net) provides a powerful and easy-to-use interface for tracing out changes in the pattern of concentrated poverty in the nation's metropolitan areas.
A companion resource to Paul Jargosky's book on the reversal of urban poverty concentrations ("Stunning Progress, Hidden Problems: Concentrated Poverty in the 1990s," Brookings Institution), this website allows interested researchers, advocates, and GIS neophytes to readily map poverty, demographic, and housing trends at the census tract level from 1970 to 2000, using Census data.
The user interface is a simplified GIS system; you
can zoom into particular states or metropolitan areas from a U.S. map,
and view data at the census tract level. Map color coding lets
you examine the level of poverty in years between 1970 and 2000, and
the change in poverty rates at the tract level for ten-year
periods. You can also map data for race, ethnicity, population
density, housing value and housing age.
The Public Policy Institute of California has just published a very detailed study of the development of the Silicon Valley, tracing the role of individual firms in the nation's premiere high-tech region. "High-Tech Start-Ups and Industry Dynamics in Silicon Valley" by PPIC's Junfu Zhang, examines the sources of startup firms, and shows that many of the critical competitive advantages of the region stem from its ability to quickly assemble talented teams and get them needed funding. New firms arrange venture capital investment five months faster than firms in other regions, giving them a decisive head start in reaching the marketplace. Over the decade of the 1990s, the region's ability to continuously generate new firms lead to continuing growth.
Of interest to economic developers, and in
spite of the continuing pilgrimages of industrial recruiters to the
imagined happy hunting grounds of disaffected Silicon Valley firms,
relatively few firms move out of the region, and fewer still out of
California. Over the past decade, some 1,500 high tech
businesses left Silicon Valley, an impressive number but less than 3
percent of the region's total high tech base. And these were
offset in part by nearly 900 high tech businesses that moved into the
Valley. For a table listing the primary destinations of firms
leaving the region, see page 74 of Zhang's report, which shows the top
ten destinations of firms leaving the Silicon Valley between 1990 and
2001. But don't settle for this one detail; for an insightful look at the dynamics of high tech,
read the whole report, at:
Echoing the PPIC report's findings on a national scale, the latest data released by the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy highlights the role of small and startup businesses in job creation. The SBA's latest Small Business State Profiles for 2003 report the job creation impact of small business by state. Nationally, according to SBA, small businesses accounted for three quarters of net new job creation.
Individual state profiles are available in the Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
format at the SBA website. Each profile reports overall small business
numbers for 2002 (including women- and minority-owned), numbers of small business
firms and jobs by
industry category for 2000, and change in
employment by firm size from 1999 to 2000. You can find a
directory of state reports at:
For September, our new links get down and dirty, as we examine sources of mineral industry information, all provided by our friends at the U.S. Geological Survey.
U.S. Geological Survey
Mineral Resources Program
National Coal Resource Assessment