Useful Stats: Sectoral breakdown of total and high-propensity business applications, 2005-2023

Led by increases in retail trade and professional, scientific, and technical services, the number of annual business applications nationwide has increased 119%, or nearly three million, from 2005 to 2023. However, the share of applications classified as high-propensity, or those more likely to result in businesses with a payroll, has decreased in all but the health care and social assistance sector, leading to a 26-percent point drop (58% to 32%) over the same period.

Useful Stats: Business applications trending up, share of high-propensity applications trending down, 2005-2023

Business applications have greatly increased over the last two decades, jumping 119% from 2005 to 2023. However, the rate of high-propensity business applications—applications identified by the Census Bureau as having higher likelihoods of turning into businesses with payroll—have decreased as a share of all applications every year since 2005, despite having grown 22% over the same period. Breaking these numbers down by states shows uneven trends, with the difference in shares of high-propensity business applications in 2005 and 2023 decreasing by over 20 percentage points in most states.

Useful Stats: Undergraduate enrollment below pre-pandemic levels in 43 states, grad enrollment up in 33 states

Total postsecondary enrollment is down 5% from fall 2019 to fall 2023 due to a 6% drop in undergraduate students. While undergraduates are down, graduate students have surpassed pre-pandemic enrollment numbers by 4%. Enrollments in undergraduate and graduate certificates are up significantly from pre-pandemic values (16% and 21%), while enrollment in associate degrees are down more than any other undergraduate credential (-14%). Continue reading for a national and state-level analysis of the recently released fall 2023 enrollment estimates from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (Clearinghouse).

Useful Stats: Trends in graduate students and postdocs by field of study

Graduate student enrollment and postdoctoral appointments have shifted in fields of study over the past decades, with many fields exploding in graduate enrollment and postdoctoral appointments. Computer and information sciences graduate students jumped from just 4% of all science enrollments in 1975 to nearly a quarter of the total by 2021, while engineering postdocs in biological, biomedical, and biosystems engineering jumped 5,671%– increasing from 3% in 1975 to 19% of all engineering postdocs by 2021. This edition of Useful Stats uses the full range of NSF GSS data to explore trends in graduate students (1975-2021) and postdoctoral appointees (1979-2021; postdocs) in science and engineering.

NSF releases updated tools for profiling US state trends in science and engineering

NSF recently released updates on two ways of profiling trends in science and engineering at the state level: Science and Engineering State Profiles and Science & Engineering Indicators.

Useful Stats: Is US manufacturing productivity on a decline? A detailed look at BLS OPT data.

Despite a $4.1 trillion increase in annual output since 1987, manufacturing industries in the United States have been declining in both their labor productivity and share of output. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ labor productivity (output per hour) index, tied to 2012 values, for manufacturing industries has dropped by nearly five points since its all-time high of over 101 in Q2 2013.

Useful Stats: BERD expenditures jump 12%, topping $600 billion in 2021

Despite the pandemic and accompanying global economic slowdown in 2020 and 2021, U.S. business spending on research and development (R&D) activities increased by nearly $65 billion (12%), rising from $538 billion in 2020 to $602 billion in 2021. This increase was led by a $61 billion, or 13% increase, in R&D paid for by the company, compared to a $3 billion, 5% increase, in R&D paid for by others.

Useful Stats: Age, Income, and Educational Attainment in 2022

The United States boasts the world’s largest economy and is home to many of the most prestigious, highly ranked universities across the globe, leading to a highly educated population. Overall, advanced education pays off in terms of personal earnings and national innovation. Factors like field of study, skills, and job demand can greatly affect earning potential.

Useful Stats: 5-year analysis of per capita personal income, 2018-2022

A new Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) release shows that over the past five years of available data (2018-2022), nationwide per capita personal income increased by 21.64%, rising from $53,786 to $65,423, with an average yearly percentage change of +5.04%. While personal income grew 23.39% during this period, from around $17.67 trillion to $21.80 trillion (+5.41% per year on average), this article will focus solely on per capita personal income, examining both nationwide and interstate trends from 2018-2022 with an emphasis on uncovering the impacts of the pandemic.

Useful Stats: 10-year analysis of NSF EPSCoR state HERD, FY 2012-2021

The objective of the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is to help states receiving the least amount of federal research and development (R&D) funds within their postsecondary institutions improve their competitiveness for federal grants and awards. A measure of EPSCoR's effectiveness, then, is whether or not the state's academic research enterprise is capturing a larger share of federal R&D expenditures. This article utilizes data from the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey, analyzing the total and federal HERD dollars for the 25 current EPSCoR eligible states compared to those not eligible, finding: 1) EPSCoR states are not receiving proportionately more federal HERD dollars and 2) EPSCoR states have an extremely large variation of total HERD dollars between states, inclusive of both the highest grossing states as well as all three states experiencing a decrease.


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