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Economic Briefing Blog

Industry in Focus: Finance and Insurance and More

This quarter, Industry in Focus is actually Industries in Focus. Beginning with this quarterly GDP by Industry release, we're delighted to introduce a new set of products—the Quarterly Underlying Detail Tables.  Previously, quarterly GDP by industry statistics were only available for 22 industries.  The new underlying detail tables provide the same data for 71 industries, allowing for even more in-depth analysis of economic trends.

Drilling into 'Fab' Metals

Recently, the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) reported on fabricated metal product manufacturing as part of our series of manufacturing profiles examining what is made in America. Utilizing various fabrication processes, metals are manipulated to create intermediate or end products (excluding machinery, computers and electronics and metal furniture). Examples of fabrication (or "fab") include forging, stamping and welding metal. Shipments of fabricated metals totaled $345.1 billion, or 5.9 percent of all manufacturing shipments in 2013. The fabricated metals industry is the third largest employer (following transportation and food manufacturing) of all the manufacturing industries in the United States.

Halloween Data Snapshot: How scary is this?

On October 31st, millions of children across America will don costumes and head excitedly into the twilight in search of sweets. (According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 41.2 million 5-14 year olds in 2013).

Manufacturing Pays

Historically, manufacturing jobs have offered relatively high pay, good benefits, and job security. However, as the economy has changed, the manufacturing sector's reputation for offering higher-paying jobs has been called into question – but our research rebuts this criticism.  In a new short report  available on the Department of Commerce's Office of the Chief Economist's website, we use ten federal datasets to compare the average pay of manufacturing employees to the average pay of private sector employees and find that a pay premium still exists.

What is Natural Capital? New York Roundtable Considers the Question, Evokes Teddy Roosevelt

Columbia UniversityThe third natural capital business roundtable took place in New York City on September 18th, in collaboration with Columbia University's Earth Institute. The natural capital roundtables bring together industry leaders, academics, government officials and non-governmental organizations to identify opportunities and challenges associated with integrating natural capital values into companies' business models. These sessions are helping to inform the development of a Commerce Department natural capital website featuring data, case studies, tools, methodologies, best practices, and other information that businesses have identified as important for decision-making.

Natural Capital in the Big Apple: Upcoming Roundtable Set for Columbia University’s Earth Institute

North Carolina CoastHosted by the Commerce Department, the third natural capital business roundtable in a series focusing on coastal regions is set to take place September 18th at Columbia University's Earth Institute. The three target industries for the day-long New York City meeting will be financial services, real estate development/construction, and re/insurance.

New Research Will Help U.S. Businesses Assess Costs Everywhere

Assess Costs Everywhere (ACE) has been recently revised with more modern, up-to-date information. ACE is a resource developed by the Office of the Chief Economist in the Department of Commerce to outline the hidden costs and risks U.S. firms need to consider when evaluating the location of manufacturing operations and supply chains. ACE was originally launched in April 2013, and we are constantly reviewing it to ensure the data and research are current.

Highlights from our newly updated research include:

Supply Chains Take on Larger Role in Manufacturing

In March, the Department of Commerce and the White House released "Supply Chain Innovation: Strengthening America's Small Manufacturers." One of the figures in that paper showed that supply chain costs, as a percentage of manufacturing shipments, have grown over the past two decades, from 52 percent in 1992 to 59 percent in 2012.1 Those percentages were gleaned from Economic Census data published every five years, and they paint an interesting picture of the growing importa

Brainstorming Natural Capital in Cleveland

GM's Dr. Susan Smyth and DOC Chief Economist Dr. Sue Helper confab in ClevelandOn June 12th, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) headed to Cleveland, OH for the second of five Department of Commerce Natural Capital Business Roundtables. The roundtables will inform development of a DOC website to help businesses incorporate natural capital in their planning and operations. Natural capital includes the air, water, soil and living resources that provide a range of goods and services on which the global economy depends. 

What Do We Know About Temporary Help Workers in the United States?

Employment in the temporary help services industry continues to grow and reached an all-time high in June, after adding 20,000 jobs. This industry now accounts for 2.4 percent of all private sector jobs in the U.S. economy. 

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