Bob Weeks

5472 Posts
Labor productivity in Kansas

Labor productivity in Kansas

In labor productivity, Kansas is in the middle of the nation, but ranks better among neighboring states. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, captures data regarding productivity of workers. Some data is available for the states. I've captured this data and present it in an interactive visualization. (more…)
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Chart: Coffee and cell phone service

Chart: Coffee and cell phone service

While the price level as measured by the Consumer Price Index generally increases when considering all items, individual items may take different paths. Here, we see coffee increasing in price, but less than all items, when considering the long period since 1997. Its trend over the last six years is downward. The trend for wireless telephone services (cell phone service) is down, although mostly level the past four years. To learn more about this data and access the interactive visualization of all CPI data, click here. Click charts for larger versions.
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Inflation has (maybe) accelerated

Inflation has (maybe) accelerated

The Consumer Price Index is rising, although not evenly for every item category. Many news stories are reporting on rising inflation. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the most widely used measure of inflation. I've gathered CPI data and present it in an interactive visualization. In the nearby examples showing selected items since the start of the pandemic, we can see that some items have shown faster increases in price level since the start of the year. To learn more about the data and access the interactive visualization, click here. Click charts for larger versions.
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Counting jobs in Kansas

Counting jobs in Kansas

Since the start of the pandemic, has the employment situation in Kansas bounced back? There is more than one way to evaluate jobs and employment, and depending on the method, Kansas has either recovered from the pandemic or is still behind. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, publishes two series of employment data that are widely followed. The Current Population Survey (CPS), counts people who are working and those who are not. It is commonly referred to as the household survey. The Current Employment Statistics (CES) program counts jobs at employers. It is…
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Kansas tax revenue, May 2021

Kansas tax revenue, May 2021

For May 2021, Kansas tax revenue was 134.7 percent greater than May 2020. Over the eleven months of the current fiscal year, revenue is 27.7 percent higher than at the same point of the previous year. There are important caveats to consider. Tax reports from the State of Kansas for May 2021 show tax revenues rising from the previous month, and also higher than the same month the prior year. Comparisons to May 2020 must be considered in that the tax deadline for 2020 was changed from April to July. That also shifted a large amount of revenue from fiscal…
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Wichita employment situation, April 2021

Wichita employment situation, April 2021

For the Wichita metropolitan area in April 2021, the number of unemployed persons is down, the unemployment rate is down, and the number of people working is up when compared to the same month one year ago. The recent trend is exhibiting only small changes. (more…)
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Airport traffic statistics, 2020

Airport traffic statistics, 2020

Airport traffic data presented in an interactive visualization, updated through 2020. This visualization holds data from TranStats, a service of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), which is the independent statistical agency within the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). While monthly data is available, this visualization holds annual totals. The response to the pandemic severely affected airline traffic. A nearby table presents data for Wichita and the sum of all U.S. airports. The count of departures, passengers, and seats declined, with Wichita seeing less decline than the nation. (In this data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the number…
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Kansas employment situation, April 2021

Kansas employment situation, April 2021

In Kansas for April 2021, the labor force fell, the number of people working fell, and the unemployment rate fell, all compared to the previous month. Data released this week from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a deteriorating employment picture in Kansas for April 2021 when compared to the previous month. (more…)
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State government employees in Kansas

State government employees in Kansas

Kansas has more state government employees per resident than most states, and the trend is rising. Each year the United States Census Bureau surveys federal, state, and local government civilian employees. ((United States Census Bureau. Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll (ASPEP). Available at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/apes.html.)) The amount of payroll for a single month (March) is also recorded. In this case, I've made the data for state government employees available in an interactive visualization. (more…)
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My struggle with Dupuytren’s Disease

My struggle with Dupuytren’s Disease

If you've wondered why I seem to disappear once in a while, here is why. Dupuytren's Contracture, or Dupuytren's Disease, is "... a benign condition which causes a tightening of the flesh beneath the skin of the palm and can result in permanently bent fingers." I am afflicted with this, in a fairly severe manner. It usually starts with small nodules in the palms. Then, in some people, cords develop in the palm and fingers. In some of these people, the cords tighten, which is what causes the fingers to contract. In my experience, these cords are very strong. It…
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National employment, April 2021

National employment, April 2021

The national jobs report for April underperformed expectations and the unemployment rate rose slightly. The March jobs figure was revised downward significantly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, reported the closely-followed jobs number rose in April 2021 by 266,000 jobs from the prior month. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent. (more…)
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Wichita ethics code to be considered

Wichita ethics code to be considered

The Wichita city council will consider an ethics code that overlooks a simple and effective solution to a problem. This week the Wichita City Council will consider the final version of a proposed ethics code. It does not cover campaign finance. It does cover gifts to council members, which has been an issue in the past. Part of the problem with the proposal is the creation of a new board, the Ethics Advisory Board. Its members will be asked to judge things like whether a gift is "... intended or has the appearance or effect ..." The board will be…
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Kansas tax revenue, April 2021

Kansas tax revenue, April 2021

For April 2021, Kansas tax revenue was 69.9 percent greater than April 2020. Over the ten months of the current fiscal year, revenue is 19.5 percent higher than at the same point of the previous year. There are caveats to consider. Tax reports from the State of Kansas for April 2021 show tax revenues rising from the previous month, and also higher than the same month the prior year. Comparisons to April 2020 must be considered in that the tax deadline for 2020 was changed from April to July. That also shifted a large amount of revenue from fiscal year…
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