• Insights: Access to Data

    The Hudson County Economic Development Corp. hosted an informative webinar today in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, offering ways to access key Economic Census data online amid the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Titled, “Grow Your Business with the Power of Census Data, Andrew Hait, a Census survey statistician/economist, offered ways for Jersey City and Hudson County business representatives to utilize the federal data to help inform company decisions. But similar data also can be easily accessed relative to New Jersey, the New York metropolitan region and the entire nation.

    Hait also informed listeners that the U.S. Census Bureau soon plans to publicly launch a COVID-19 platform on its main page, which will provide information designed to help businesses begin to recover from the economic damages wrought by the pandemic and need for social distancing. Information will be available for individual states via an impact planning report.

    While most of us know the U.S. Census Bureau for taking the nation’s population data every decade (as it is doing this month), Hait focused on the Economic Census data. This census data is taken every five years, with the last one done in 2017 and the next scheduled for 2022. Interestingly, the 2017 data has started being disseminated on the U.S. Census Bureau website and will continue to roll out the remainder of this year.

    Important Links:

    Census.gov
    data.census.gov
    https://www.census.gov/EconomicCensus

    Main Webinar Takeaways Include:

    • U.S. Census compiles data far beyond the population info. This includes statistics and information on Business to Customer businesses, an American City Survey, as well as data that can help users better understand potential customer bases.
    • Economic data is available that can help businesses better understand their competition and suppliers (and for B-to-B entities) your customers
    • A Census Business Builder can help you access key data in an easy-to-use platform that allows focus on various industries and demographics

    Data for Small Businesses is Available

    The U.S. Census sites also can provide small business data, county-wide and regional information on business patterns for particular industries and data on both employee and non-employee businesses.

    A special “Splash Page” can help get you started on the type of business you want to do research on.

    Examples of the varied data available include:

    • There are 7,800 transportation/trucking businesses in New Jersey that conduct approximately $31 billion in annual business
    • Hudson County – at least before the COVID-19 crisis – employed 8,800 restaurant employees
    • The United States exports more beer to Chile than any other nation
    • New Mexico has the most sales (34 percent of total sales) in drive-through restaurant orders of any state in the nation; The District of Columbia has the least with just 5 percent

    Info on Entrepreneurs

    Other interesting categories in the Economic Census include a survey of business owners broken out by race, ethnicity and even veteran status. There is a place for entrepreneurs to access data to help them better understand their markets.

    In May, the U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to release its Annual Business Survey.

    Given the importance of Social Media use, the U.S. Census Bureau also puts out information in a Fun Facts format, which provides tidbits of info for various industries and sectors.

    So take a spin through the above website links and explore the data that may help your business.