Bob Weeks

5432 Posts
How to Make the BLS Better

How to Make the BLS Better

The BLS is rightfully regarded as an objective, data-focused organization whose efforts are essential to a better understanding of the US economy. Its data collection and analysis set the professional standard for many economists to follow. However, ordinary Americans would have great difficulty using the BLS’s data resources to answer their own questions about the economy. Click here for article at Mercatus Center.
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The Distorted Minimum Wage Debate

The Distorted Minimum Wage Debate

It sometimes feels as if advocates and opponents of minimum wage hikes are talking in different universes. In large part, that stems from completely opposite interpretations of the balance of the academic literature on the subject. Click here for the article from Cato Institute.
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Kansas unemployment claims are high and rising

Kansas unemployment claims are high and rising

A visualization of unemployment insurance claims by state, adjusted for population, shows Kansas as an outlier among states. The number of people filing for unemployment insurance each week is a useful indicator of the condition of the economy. I present this data for each state and the nation in an interactive visualization. Because states vary widely in their population (the most populous state has 68 times the population of the least populous), I've cast the data as claims per thousand residents of each state. (more…)
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Trump-supporting QAnon seen as public security threat

Trump-supporting QAnon seen as public security threat

QAnon, a conspiracy theory group mentioned favorably by President Donald J. Trump and embraced by other Republican leaders, represents a public security threat, according to the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Originally published August 23, 2020. In light of recent events, it seems the authors were prescient. (more…)
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Wichita property tax rate: Up

Wichita property tax rate: Up

The City of Wichita property tax mill levy rose slightly for 2020. In 1994 the City of Wichita mill levy rate -- the rate at which real and personal property is taxed -- was 31.290. In 2020 it was 32.749, based on the Sedgwick County Clerk. That's an increase of 1.459 mills, or 4.66 percent, since 1994. (These are for taxes levied by the City of Wichita only, and do not include any overlapping jurisdictions.) (more…)
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Zip code business patterns

Zip code business patterns

Employment, establishment count, and annual payroll presented in an interactive visualization. In the program County Business Patterns (CBP), the United States Census Bureau produces estimates of business activity. Data regarding employment, establishment count, and annual payroll is available for several geographies, including zip codes. I've gathered this data and present it in an interactive visualization. (more…)
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Zip code populations

Zip code populations

An interactive visualization of population by zip codes shows the parts of Wichita that are growing. As part of its American Community Survey program, the United States Census Bureau produces estimates of population in zip codes. I've gathered this data for ten years and present it in an interactive visualization. (more…)
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Newsletter for January 10, 2021

Newsletter for January 10, 2021

Click here to view the freshest edition of the newsletter from Voice For Liberty. This edition is dated January 10, 2021. Some headlines: Wichita jobs for November Kansas tax collections for December Downtown Wichita jobs rise Kansas population is growing, but slowly You can subscribe so that you receive each edition of this newsletter by email. Just click here. All you need to supply is your email address, and it's easy to unsubscribe. If you aren't getting the emails after you've subscribed, click here for suggestions on how to fix it.
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Wichita jobs and employment, November 2020

Wichita jobs and employment, November 2020

For the Wichita metropolitan area in November 2020, the number of unemployed persons is up, the unemployment rate is up, and the number of people working is down, all by large amounts, when compared to the same month one year ago. The recent trend, however, is mixed. (more…)
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Kansas tax revenue, December 2020

Kansas tax revenue, December 2020

For December 2020, total Kansas tax revenue was 1.8 percent greater than last December 2019. Over the six months of the current fiscal year, tax revenue is 16.6 percent higher than at the same point of the previous fiscal year. (more…)
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Newsletter for January 3, 2021

Newsletter for January 3, 2021

Click here to view the freshest edition of the newsletter from Voice For Liberty. This edition is dated January 3, 2021. Some headlines: Downtown Wichita jobs rise Quarterly state government tax collections Kansas hotel guest tax collections Kansas population is growing, but slowly You can subscribe so that you receive each edition of this newsletter by email. Just click here. All you need to supply is your email address, and it's easy to unsubscribe. If you aren't getting the emails after you've subscribed, click here for suggestions on how to fix it.
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Quarterly state government tax collections

Quarterly state government tax collections

State government tax revenue has generally recovered since the second quarter. Data from the United States Census Bureau shows that state government tax revenue has largely rebounded since the pandemic. The data, which is from the Quarterly Summary of State & Local Tax Revenue program, is now available for the third quarter of 2020, which is the months of July, August, and September. In this article and the accompanying charts and visualizations, I present state collections only. Considering Kansas, total state tax collections in the first quarter were $2,730 million. That dipped to $2,452 million in the second quarter (April,…
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