Friday, May 4, 2012

One Year Ago…

By Jonathan Miller, Project Associate.

Tomorrow, May 4th, is one year, to the day, that I started at Market Street Services. In my first year I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. I have worked in a variety of communities, including Vestavia Hills, AL; Gwinnett County, GA; Madison, WI; Henry County, GA; and Austin, TX. While each community is unique, the one common thread that binds them all together is a commitment to make their community better – the status quo is insufficient. Such an attitude is infectious and makes coming to work an exciting endeavor.

As some you may be familiar, Harper’s Magazine, a monthly publication, publishes what’s called the “Harper’s Index.” In each issue, the index presents a number of statistics in an easily readable format. So, in a nod to my one-year anniversary I have constructed an Index reflecting national and local happenings over the past year as well as some stats about my work.

Difference in the number of Americans employed: +1,594,000

Number of those in Georgia: +22,200

Number of those in Atlanta: +18,800

Percentage point change in the unemployment rate in Georgia and metro Atlanta: -0.8

Change in the national average price of regular gas per gallon: -15 cents

Change in the price of regular gas in metro Atlanta per gallon: -19 cents

Number of banks that failed in the United States: 75

Number of those that were in Georgia: 17

Number of homes that were built in metro Atlanta: 69,263

Percentage change in median home value in metro Atlanta: -12.4

Change in the percentage of Atlanta homes sold for a loss: +5.7

Percentage change in the price of oil: +0.67

Percentage change in the price of gold: +7.98

Percentage change in the price of Apple stock: +68.5

Days worked for Market Street Services: 365

Number of communities visited: 5

Aggregate population of those communities: 3.7 million

Number of miles traveled: 5,000+

Number of focus groups facilitated: 9

Number of survey responses analyzed: 3,170

Number of Google searches conducted: 8,856

Percentage of those occurring on Mondays or Thursdays (the days of the week with the most queries): 38.5

Rankings for Google queries of “BLS,” “Census,” and “Wall Street Journal”: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Note: where May data was not available, the most recent month was used.