American Time Use Survey

June 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

American Time Use Survey

Each year since 2003, usually in late June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a snapshot of how Americans use their time. The Wall Street Journal graphic shown here is one example of what you can do with numbers from the report. This graphic just scratches the surface. The BLS counts time use in a number of ways, and breaks it down by sex, age and employment status. The report also includes a section just on how Americans spend their leisure time. The American Time Use Survey can be found here:

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.toc.htm

Political prediction market

November 21, 2011 § Leave a comment


President Barack Obama has a 51% chance of being elected, according to the Intrade market, in which bettors buy and sell shares that pay off if their predictions are correct. How accurate is the collective wisdom of the market on political matters? More accurate than political pundits, according to the Washington Post and the New York times. http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/bettors-beat-pundits/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/does-intrade-matter-political-betting-explained/2011/10/12/gIQAHqpdhL_blog.html
While the Intrade market has been a more accurate barometer than public opinion polls, its data only occasionally gets used in news graphics, such as the New York Times chart above.

To read Intrade data as a percentage, you just convert the dollar amount so that, for instance, $6.70 is 6.7%.

In addition to a market on Obama’s chances, Intrade has odds on each GOP presidential candidate, House, Senate and Governors’ races, and whom Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint will endorse.

Halloween statistics

October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

halloween costume statistics graphic
Each year the National Retail Federation releases a survey on how much Americans plan to spend on Halloween, how they plan to celebrate and what costume they will wear. They survey offers a chance to create some interesting charts. Above is an example from The Wall Street Journal. Below is a graphic from the Columbia Missourian (http://www.columbiamissourian.com/multimedia/graphic/2011/10/23/chart-halloween-celebration-2011/)
Halloween infographic from Columbia Missourian

Gallup daily poll on economic conditions

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Each day, Gallup polls Americans on how they view economic conditions. The percentage saying the economy is poor shot up by 10 points around the time of the congressional battle over raising the debt ceiling.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/110821/Gallup-Daily-US-Economic-Conditions.aspx

You can download the data and build your own chart. Unfortunately, these figures only go back to 2009, so they don’t capture the period before the recession that began in December 2007. I suspect you could get older figures by contacting Gallup directly.

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