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Econ 5050
DATA EXERCISE 1: (Created by your class instructor Dr. Florence Neymotin)
(1) Go to: www.bls.gov
(2) On the “Databases and Tools” tab, click on “multiple series”. This should take
you to a page with many different datasets.
a. Under “employment” you’ll see “Employment, Hours, and Earnings- State and Metro Area”. In this row, click on the blue “TABLES” picture. Next, choose table D6 and click on the highlighted “(XLS)”. This will open a very big table. You are only interested in the July 2012 and July 2013 average weekly earnings columns as well as the first “state and metro area” column. Keep ONLY the rows corresponding to each state, and not the individual metropolitan areas (e.g. keep “Wyoming” row and cut “Casper” and “Cheyenne” rows). Now, calculate both the change in average earnings as well as the percentage change in average earnings during this one month period. Display this information in new columns. Sort the data by “State” after removing any extra header information (it should be handed in sorted by state, although you may need to sort on other variables to answer the following questions, so make sure to hand it in sorted correctly…).
For all of the questions, you should create a separate excel worksheet and answer ALL questions in ONE excel sheet. This will make sure that you do not have points taken off unfairly because your work was unclear. Also, make sure that the formulas you used are still visible, so that it is possible to see your train of thought.
QUESTION 1: Which three states had the largest (positive) change in average earnings over this time period (remember to use the correct units in your answer)? How does Florida compare to the rest of the states in terms of the average change in weekly earnings? How does New York compare?
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QUESTION 2: How many states experienced an increase in average weekly earnings? How many had a decrease or no change? What do you think we can say about our national economic recovery based on this information?
QUESTION 3: Looking next at the percentage change, which three states had the largest increase in average weekly earnings? Why are these three states not the same as the three you picked for question 1? How do Florida and New York compare to the rest of the states in terms of our percentage change?
QUESTION 4: Based on your answers to Question 3, how do you think the economic recovery is progressing in the state of Florida versus the state of New York? How do you think this might be different if we were to compare “New York CITY” to “SOUTH Florida” (you can argue based on your understanding of the matter here)?
b. Redo the same exercise as above (but you can skip Questions 1-4 for this part), but now only keep rows for Florida and all its metro areas and New York and its metro areas. Insert this information into a new worksheet on the same excel workbook. Make sure to once again calculate changes and percentage changes as before. When you hand this worksheet in, it should be sorted as in the original download (i.e. Florida state and its metro areas, followed by New York and its metro areas).
QUESTION 5: Which metro area in Florida had the biggest increase in earnings? How about in New York? Which metro area in Florida had the biggest percentage increase in earnings? How about in New York? How did the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale- Pompano area do?
QUESTION 6: Based on your answer to Question 5, how do you think South Florida has done compared to New York in this recovery? Why might just percentage changes in NOMINAL earnings without seasonally adjusting obscure part of the story?
QUESTION 7: What kind of information in a table would you need to adequately answer the last part of Question 6 above?

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