ECON 301 Assignment 4

1.   You recently looked over the Occupational Outlook Handbook, and saw which industries are expected to be in big demand. You are thinking of moving back to the city in which you were born and getting one of these in-demand jobs. Go to the BLS, and select the CES State and Metro Area monthly employment data (one screen data search; may have to use Internet Explorer or another Java-enabled browser). Select the metro area in which you were born (or the one closest to it), and select the following Supersectors and Industries:

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (for solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians)
  • Health Care and Social Assistance in Education and Health Services (for nurse practitioners)
  • Professional and Business Services (for agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes)

(If data is not available at the metro level, use state data.) Collect annual data on total employment for the ten-year period 2012-2021 (or as much of that period as you can get) and produce one graph showing the trend in all three of those industries in that metro area. (See the video on making graphs in Excel.) Write a paragraph or two describing the trends, and include answers to the following questions: Which of the three industries had the most employees in that metro area, and which do you think has the best prospects for employee growth in the future, based on the graph?

2.   Your boss has heard conflicting stories about the job market, and is wondering whether now is a good time to hire to refill jobs that were let go last year. She sends you links to two recent posts:

She can’t make heads or tails of these stories, since they seem to tell conflicting stories. She has asked you to “translate” what is being said into a one-to-two page summary of the national labor market accounting for the information in both stories.

3.   You are the CEA at CouchPotato (remember?), the high-end plasma TV producer. You are interested in opening a branch retail store in the city in which you were born, but are concerned about the potential customer base. Use the BEA, Regional Data, Personal Income… by … Metropolitan Area, and select table County and MSA personal income summary. Select Metropolitan Statistical Area for the Major Area, the area in which you were born (or closest to) for the Area, Personal income and Per capita personal income, and the 2012-2021 period (hold shift and click to select multiple items). Produce one graph showing the trend in personal income for the MSA in which you were born, and write a short paragraph describing the trend. Produce another graph showing the trend in per capita personal income in the MSA in which you were born. Given the information in both graphs, should you open the branch store in that area? What different information does per capita personal income give you that personal income doesn’t?

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