Category Archives: Statistics

Where the Money Goes: State-by-State General Expenditures by Function

Source: Jennifer Burnett, Council of State Governments, Fiscal Brief, August 2012

From the summary:
State government general expenditures totaled $1.59 trillion in 2010, an increase of 2.4 percent over 2009.1 When adjusted for inflation, however, the increase from 2009 to 2010 is less than one-half of a percent. On a per capita basis, state general expenditures in 2010 were $5,150, little changed from 2009 when per capita spending was $5,068. When per capita spending is adjusted for inflation, expenditures actually decreased from 2009 to 2010 by 0.4 percent.

Collectively, nearly 73 percent of state general expenditures go to three major categories by function: education, public welfare, public health and hospitals, with education and public welfare making up nearly 65 percent of spending in 2010. The next three largest areas for spending were health and hospitals (7.8 percent), highways (7 percent) and governmental administration (3.4 percent).
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The State of Working America, 12th Edition

Source: Lawrence Mishel, Josh Bivens, Elise Gould, and Heidi Shierholz. Economic Policy Institute, September 2012

From the press release:
Low- and middle-income workers and their families would have had far better income growth over the past 30 years if economic policies had not directed the fruits of economic growth to the highest-income Americans, a new Economic Policy Institute book, “The State of Working America, 12th Edition” finds. For example, had there been no growth in income disparities since 1979, annual income for a middle-income household would have been $88,875 in 2007, $18,897 higher than the $69,978 it actually was. The median household lost wealth between 1983 and 2010 and had just $57,000 in net worth in 2010, rather than the $119,000 it would have had if wealth had grown equally across all households over this period….

…”The State of Working America, 12th Edition” explains that economic policies, including policymakers’ actions and failures to act, have undercut the ability of workers to benefit from economic growth in the United States. Its primary findings include:
– America’s vast middle class has suffered a “lost decade” and faces the threat of another…
– Income and wage inequality have risen sharply over the last 30 years….
– Rising inequality is the major cause of wage stagnation for workers and of the failure of low- and middle-income families to appropriately benefit from growth….
– Economic policies caused increased inequality of wages and incomes….
– Claims that growing inequality has not hurt middle-income families are flawed….
Inequalities persist by race and gender….

…”The State of Working America, 12th Edition” includes new and compelling data on:
Income, Mobility, Wages, Jobs, Wealth, Poverty…

Per Pupil Costs for Large U.S. Districts, 2010

Source: Govistics, Center for Governmental Research (CGR), 2012

From the press release:
Of the largest school districts in the U.S., the District of Columbia, Newark, NJ and Buffalo, NY spent the most per pupil in 2010, according to an analysis by Govistics of recently released U.S. Census of Governments data. Per pupil spending was about $29,400 in D.C.; $28,600 in Newark; and $26,900 in Buffalo….At the other end of the scale, the 10 districts with the lowest per pupil costs spent less ─ in some cases significantly less ─ than one-third the amount spent per pupil in 2010 in D.C., Newark or Buffalo, the Govistics analysis found. Govistics ( is a web-based product of the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) and provides interactive access to key government data on U.S. school districts and local governments.

Govistics examined total spending (e.g., instruction, administration, capital costs) for the 285 districts with enrollments of 25,000 or more students….
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2012 Census of Governments

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, August 2012

From the press release:
The U.S. Census Bureau today released preliminary counts of local governments as the first component of the 2012 Census of Governments. In 2012, 89,004 local governments existed in the United States, down from 89,476 in the last census of governments conducted in 2007…

…Conducted every five years (for years ending in “2” and “7”), the census of governments provides the only uniform source of statistics for all of the nation’s state and local governments. These statistics allow for in-depth trend analysis of all individual governments and provide a complete, comprehensive and authoritative benchmark of state and local government activity.

The census of governments measures three components: organization, employment and finance. These components provide statistics on the number of governments that exist, the services they provide, the number of their employees and their financial activity. In addition to the information provided for states, cities, counties and townships, the census of governments also provides information on special districts and school districts.

Among the key findings in the 2012 Census of Governments preliminary counts:
– Illinois leads the nation with 6,968 local governments — approximately 2,000 more
– Hawaii has 21 local governments, the fewest of any state.
– Texas remains first in the nation with the most independent school districts at 1,079. Closely behind is California, with 1,025 independent school districts.
– Seventeen states had more special districts compared with 2007, and 29 had fewer. Five states (including the District of Columbia) had no change.
– Ten states had fewer townships because of mergers and consolidations. Kansas decreased the most, moving from 1,353 in 2007 to 1,268 in 2012, a decrease of 85.

The State of the Unions 2012: A Profile of Organized Labor in New York City, New York State and the United States

Source: Ruth Milkman, Laura Braslow, Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies and the Center for Urban Research, CUNY, September 2012

These are difficult times for organized labor in the United States. In addition to the challenges of an anemic economic recovery and persistently high unemployment, unions are confronting continuing attacks on public-sector collective bargaining rights and aggressive demands for concessions from both public- and private-sector employers. Against this background, the long-term decline of unionism has continued unabated. Although relative to the nation as a whole, organized labor remains strong in New York City and State, significant erosion has occurred there in recent years, as Figure 1a shows. Nearly one-fourth (22.3 percent) of all wage and salary workers residing in New York City were union members in 2011-12, compared to 22.9 percent a year earlier, and 24.6 percent two years earlier. This proportion was slightly higher in New York State (23.7 percent), which ranks first in union density among the nation’s fifty states, and whose unionization rate is more than double the U.S. average of 11.7 percent. In absolute terms, New York State had more union members — almost 1.9 million — than any state except California, which has a far larger population. In 2011-12, there were about 735,000 union members in the five boroughs of New York City, representing almost two out of every five union members in the state. At the national and state level, and to an even greater extent in New York City, losses in union membership have been disproportionately concentrated in the private sector over the past decade, as Figure 1b shows. The Great Recession that began in late 2007 accelerated the long-term decline in private- sector unionization in the City (see page 5). In the public sector, by contrast, union density has been relatively stable, and has actually increased slightly in New York City recently (see Figure 1c), although ongoing budget cuts and, in other parts of the country, direct attacks on collective bargaining rights for public-sector workers may change that in the future.

An overview of U.S. occupational employment and wages in 2011

Source: Audrey Watson, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Beyond the Numbers, Vol. 1, no. 6, July2012

A substantial share of U.S. employment in May 2011 was concentrated in a relatively small number of occupations. Just 10 occupations made up more than 20 percent of total employment, and the 20 largest occupations made up nearly one-third of employment–more than 41 million jobs. Most of these large occupations had below-average wages, as did most of the occupations with the highest job gains and losses between May 2007 and May 2011. Growth in the healthcare industry helped to shape employment gains in individual occupations, while construction and production occupations were concentrated in shrinking industries. Although the overall occupational structure of the U.S. economy generally reflected that of the private sector, education and protective service occupations were more prevalent in the public sector, particularly in local government.

This issue of Beyond the Numbers uses data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program to provide an overview of U.S. occupational employment and wages in May 2011. The first section presents employment and wage data for wage and salary workers in the largest U.S. occupations and selected occupational groups. The subsequent sections highlight occupations with the highest job gains and losses between May 2007 and May 2011, occupations prevalent in growing and shrinking industries, and occupational employment comparisons between the public and private sector.

2011 Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, August 23, 2012

From the press release:
In March 2011, there were 16.4 million full-time equivalent employees working in state and local governments in the U.S., down 1.4 percent from 2010. According to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, the majority of these employees (8.9 million) worked in education, followed by those working in hospitals (964,381), police protection (923,951) and corrections (717,940).

These estimates come from the 2011 Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll. The survey shows totals for state and local government full-time and part-time employment and details employment by government function at the national and state level. To arrive at the full-time equivalent employee calculation, the number of full-time employees is added to the number of hours worked by part-time employees divided by the standard number of hours for a full-time employee.

Public Employment and Public Pensions: A 20-Year Comparison
Source: Erika Becker-Medina and Paul Reyes, United States Census Bureau, Random Samplings blog, August 26, 2013

The Lost Decade of the Middle Class: Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier

Source: Paul Taylor, Rich Morin, D’Vera Cohn, Cary Funk, Rakesh Kochhar, Richard Fry, Pew Research Center, August 22, 2012

…Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some–but by no means all–of its characteristic faith in the future. These stark assessments are based on findings from a new nationally representative Pew Research Center survey that includes 1,287 adults who describe themselves as middle class, supplemented by the Center’s analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Reserve Board of Governors….

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Receipt of Unemployment Insurance Benefits During the Great Recession

Source: Austin Nichols, Margaret Simms, Urban Institute, July 23, 2012

From the abstract:
The Great Recession hit black workers harder; the unemployment rate was higher for non-Hispanic black than for non-Hispanic white or Hispanic workers, and black unemployed workers had the lowest receipt of Unemployment Insurance benefits, 23.8 percent compared to whites’ 33.2 percent. Differences persist even after controlling for education, past employment, and reasons for unemployment.
Most likely to be Among Long-term Unemployed, Relatively Few Blacks get Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Source: Urban Institute, July 24, 2012

How Do Unemployment Insurance Modernization Laws Affect the Number and Composition of Eligible?
Source: Stephan Lindner, Austin Nichols, Urban Institute, July 23, 2012

Disadvantaged Workers and the Unemployment Insurance Program

Source: Maria E. Enchautegui, Urban Institute, July 23, 2012

Recent trends in the characteristics of unemployment insurance recipients
Source: Marios Michaelides and Peter R. Mueser, Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 135, Number 7, July 2012

U.S. Voter Participation, 1990-2010

Source: Pew Center on the States, 2012

The U.S. Voting Participation interactive graphic helps shed light on how voters in each state, and the nation overall, participate in each step of the elections process. Users can compare their state to neighboring states and over time across three separate measures of the election process: the number of registered voters, the number of ballots cast, and the number of votes counted