Showing posts from April, 2017

Characteristics of minimum wage workers, 2016

From: BLS Reports

In 2016, 79.9 million workers age 16 and older in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.7 percent of all wage and salary workers. Among those paid by the hour, 701,000 workers earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. About 1.5 million had wages below the federal minimum. Together, these 2.2 million workers with wages at or below the federal minimum made up 2.7 percent of all hourly paid workers. The percentage of hourly paid workers earning the prevailing federal minimum wage or less declined from 3.3 percent in 2015 to 2.7 percent in 2016. This remains well below the percentage of 13.4 recorded in 1979, when data were first collected on a regular basis.  This report presents highlights and statistical tables describing workers who earned at or below the federal minimum wage in 2016. The data are obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a national monthly survey of approximately 60,000 households conducted…

Diversifying Ad Spend: Why Mobile Marketers Need Both David and Goliath

From: MarketingProfs

Mobile advertising is dominated by two giants, Facebook and Google. In fact, 85% of mobile advertising spend goes to those two channels, and they both now identify mobile as a primary area of importance for future growth. Facebook's mobile revenue is projected to grow by more than 50% year over year, with Google's growing at a healthy 20%. How did Facebook and Google come to dominate the top of the mobile ad food chain? For starters, each boasts a network of more than a billion daily users. This enables both companies to offer high-quality targeting at a massive scale that most other channels can't replicate. Facebook predicted early on that highly targeted app installs would be popular with advertisers. It guessed correctly, and now Facebook's mobile ad practice fuels more than 80% of its $5.2 billion annual advertising revenue stream. Meanwhile, Google has long been the dominant player in search advertising, which makes up the bulk of the $19 bil…

It's Still Loading?!

From: eMarketer

Video streaming quality issues continue to be a big problem for the advertising and media industries. Whether they’re caused by problems with slow internet connections, or high demand for streaming video content during peak periods, the continued troubles are turning off viewers and causing headaches for media executives. Finding evidence of video viewers’ distaste for bad-quality video isn’t difficult. The latest example comes from a Q1 2017 study released by video performance and analytics firm Mux. According to the company’s investigation of US digital video viewers who stopped watching videos due to various streaming issues, about 85% said they gave up because the load time took too long, while a nearly identical percentage said stalling and the dreaded problem of “rebuffering” caused them to end their viewing session.

How to Fund a Business When You Still Have Student Loans

From Bplans

Starting a business from scratch isn’t easy under any circumstances. But for members of the millennial generation, many of whom still sit atop a mountain of student loan debt, it can seem virtually impossible. Student debt has risen dramatically in recent years to become the largest single debt source among those under 40. In fact, the average class of 2016 graduate will be saddled with $37,172 in student loan debt—enough to crush the entrepreneurial spirit of any would-be business owner. Even so, if you have a business idea you believe in, there’s no reason to put those dreams on hold. With some careful planning and financial management—and a bit of luck—you can overcome your debt burdens and turn that killer idea into a reality.

National Small Business Week 2017

From: SBA

National Small Business Week 2017 kicks off at the end of this month with an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. where national award winners including the naming of this year’s national Small Business Person of the Year will be recognized and awarded for their achievements. National Small Business Week is being held from April 30-May 6 and is an annual event hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration to recognize the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, small business advocates and champions. In addition to the awards ceremony April 30 – May 1 in Washington, D.C. with SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, a roadshow will take place in cities around the country, and several online events. Events throughout National Small Business Week are made possible thanks in part to the support of leading companies and organizers who serve as cosponsors.

How Google eats a business whole

From The Outline

Google’s Featured Snippets are not only often wrong, they’re also damaging to small businesses that depend on search traffic. launched in 2008 because Brian Warner, a former finance major working at a digital media company, wondered what Larry David was worth.

"Honestly, I wanted to know how much money Larry David had," Warner said. "I think Curb Your Enthusiasm had just come back, and I was like, 'God, he must have made so much money from Seinfeld.' I Googled something like 'Larry David net worth' and the results were garbage."

According to, Larry David is now worth $400 million. Warner acknowledges that it’s an inexact science, but he and his employees don’t simply conjure their numbers. They look at real estate transactions, news reports of large purchases and salaries, and sometimes even correspond with the celebrity or their reps. Floyd Mayweather, whose net worth Warner estimates is p…

What to Do With Physical Stores?

From eMarketer.Retail

A survey of retail executives, the vast majority of them from primarily brick-and-mortar chains, found widespread concern about enhancing the value of their physical stores. The polling from RIS News and Gartner found that more than one-third of respondents said optimizing stores and upgrading store-level bandwidth and infrastructure would be a top challenge in the coming years. Worry about physical stores fits the industry narrative of the moment, with chain after chain announcing new or expanded efforts to shutter brick-and-mortar locations. A recent study estimated that efforts to close stores actually need to be accelerated if the industry as a whole is to address a glut of retail space.

Consumer Expenditures in 2015

From Bureau Of Labor Statistics

This Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) Annual Report presents integrated data from the 2015 Diary and Interview portions of the CE, including data tables. The tables show average expenditures, income, and characteristics for consumer units1 classified by the following characteristics: quintiles and deciles of income, before-tax income class, age of the reference person, size of the consumer unit, composition of the consumer unit, number of earners, housing tenure and type of area (urban or rural), region of residence, occupation, highest education level of any consumer-unit member, race, and Hispanic or Latino origin. This report highlights spending patterns for 2015 from the CE, including a brief discussion of expenditure changes for the year, and provides a description of the CE survey. Consumer spending increased 4.6 percent in 2015, according to annual data from the CE. This follows an increase of 4.7 percent in 2014, previously recorded by the CE. T…

Top Skills Employers Want

From: The Balance

What skills are most important for companies that are hiring? There are some skills and qualities that employers require of all applicants for employment, regardless of the position they are hiring for. These are called soft skills, and they include the interpersonal skills and attributes you need to succeed in the workplace. In addition, there are the more tangible skills you need in order to do the job effectively. These are called hard skills, and they are the specific knowledge and abilities required to do the job. There's a difference between hard and soft skills.  You’ll need both for most jobs, and it's important to show employers that you have the skills they need when you're applying and interviewing for jobs.

How To Start A Home-Based Small Catering Business

From 99 Business Ideas

A catering business is a perfect opportunity for the people who love to cook. It is a profitable business and ensures lucrative margin to the owners.

Additionally, you can start this business as part-time. As your business grows, you can consider giving your full effort. In this post, we intend to explore how to start a home-based small catering business.Catering is a financially profitable and self-rewarding business.

However, It is a demanding career. It requires stamina, an ability to work under pressure, and excellent interpersonal skills. And the success of this business hugely depends on the personal reputation. You do not need special education or training to become a successful caterer. However, taking some courses at culinary institutes or vocational schools can significantly help improve the quality of your food offerings. Instead of taking classes, you can also work for an established caterer to know the inside of the business operations. Additiona…

Which Brands and Social Networks Do Teens Think Are Cool?

From MarketingProfs;

US teenagers age 13-17 say YouTube and Netflix are the coolest brands, according to recent research from Think With Google.

The report was based on data from a survey conducted by YouGov in June 2016 of 1,100 people age 13-17 (Generation Z) in the United States. Respondents were asked to rank 122 popular brands on how known they are and how cool they are.

The purpose of this magazine is to provide a glimpse into the world of teens in the US through the lens of what they find cool. Cool is an indication of what people pay attention to, what gets them excited, and can often act as a manifestation of their hope and dreams. Unlike millennials, this group is ambitious, engaged, and feel like they can change the world. For Generation Z, what’s cool is also a representation of their values, their expectations of themselves, their peers, and the brands they hold in the highest regard. What you’re looking at is proprietary research conceived and executed by the Brand Team f…

Recidivist Robocaller Settles FTC Telemarketing Complaint

From the FTC:
Justin Ramsey permanently banned from robocalling individuals, calling numbers on the Do Not Call Registry
The FTC has obtained a settlement order with Justin Ramsey, the ringleader of telemarketing operations that blasted illegal robocalls to consumers and called phone numbers listed on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry. The order bans Ramsey and his company, Prime Marketing LLC from placing robocalls to individuals to sell goods or services, initiating sales calls to numbers listed on the DNC Registry, and selling data lists containing phone numbers listed on the Registry. This settlement resolves the Federal Trade Commission’s charges against Ramsey. Ramsey and Prime Marketing also agreed to a $2.2 million civil penalty, which will be suspended upon payment of $65,000. The full judgment will become due if they are later found to have misrepresented their financial condition. According to the FTC’s January 2017 complaint, in 2012 and 2013 Ramsey and several co-defend…

Private Collection of Tax Debts—Here's What You Should Know

From the IRS:

The IRS will begin contacting some taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts are being transferred to private collection agencies. But watch out for scammers who might claim to be associated with the program to try to steal your money. Keep in mind, the IRS will always send you a letter first before assigning your account to a private collection agency (PCA).

Learn more about this new private debt collection program, including how to avoid tax scams and protect your taxpayer rights.
Starting this month, the Internal Revenue Service will begin sending letters to a relatively small group of taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts are being assigned to one of four private-sector collection agencies. The new program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress in December 2015, enables these designated contractors to collect, on the government’s behalf, unpaid tax debts. Usually, these are unpaid individual tax obligations that are not currently being worked by …

Small-Business Websites Expected to Be as Top-Notch as Large

From eMarketer

Consumers know what they want, and when it comes to visiting a small business’ website, they expect the same experience they would get from a larger chain.

If website visitors don’t get that experience—whether because the site doesn’t provide simple information like an address or business hours, or because it has a poor mobile experience—then they are left with a bad impression.

Best And Worst Crisis Management

From Crisis PR – Top 10 Best and Worst

A reputation is a delicate thing, which can take years to build up and mere moments to sully. And the way a company communicates with stakeholders and the general public during a crisis can be pivotal in determining whether it bounces back stronger than ever or is irrevocably tarnished by its response to the situation. Whether it’s adversity towards a product or tragedy, reputation is one of the key elements to business success and companies will work hard to retain one thing from their customers – trust. See More PR News Crisis Management Top 4 Worst-Handled PR Crises of 2016

Small Business Payments Toolkit – A Free, Informative Resource

From the Federal Reserve Bank's Business Payments Coalition:

The Business Payments Coalition recently released the third version of its Small Business Payments Toolkit. This document, available as a free download, encourages the adoption of electronic business-to-business (B2B) payments by small businesses. Checks are the main way small businesses make B2B payments. This is a problem because checks are expensive, labor-intensive and prone to fraud. Using plain language, the Toolkit educates small businesses on the benefits of using electronic payment types such as Automated Clearing House credits and debits, wire transfers, and credit and debit cards instead of checks. It offers tips on working with bankers and covers what small businesses need to know to get started making and receiving electronic payments. It provides practical information on how to avoid losses due to payments fraud. An extensive resources section has links to additional information.

The Toolkit isn’t just for s…

5 Best Industries for Starting a Business in 2017

From NerdWallet

This could be the year you decide to stop working for someone else and start your own business. While your individual skills and interests are key to determining what type of venture to pursue, the last thing you want to do is start a business in an industry with a gloomy outlook. Here are five industries with promising futures, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, market research firm IBISWorld and financial information company Sageworks.

5 Mistakes Made When Starting A Business

From Bplans

It is daunting to start your own business—very daunting. There are a hundred and one things that can go wrong, and inevitably it will the thing that you’re least expecting.

To be honest, it doesn’t matter if you are starting up a business for the first time, or kicking off your latest venture; it doesn’t get less challenging. This is why advice from people who have gone through something similar can be both hugely helpful and crucially important.

I should know: I have started a few online ventures, the most recent of which has grown into a market-leading VPN site. But the road has not always been a smooth and straightforward one, and I am the first to admit that I have made a few mistakes along the way.

But if reading this helps you to avoid these five simple—yet costly—mistakes, then it will be a few minutes very well spent. So here is my run-down of the five biggest mistakes I made when starting my business (so you don’t have to make them too)

Households spent an average of $528 on pets in 2015

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics

In 2015, households spent an average of $528 on pets, or about 1 percent of average household spending. Pet expenditures include pet food; pet purchases, supplies, and medicine; pet services; and veterinary services. Average household spending on pet food jumped from $190 in 2014 to $230 in 2015, or from 37 percent of average household spending on pets to 44 percent.

Average household spending on veterinary services, which reached over $200 in 2008, was $133 in 2015, or about 25 percent of average household expenditures on pets. Average household spending on pet purchases, supplies, and medicine, which represented 34 percent of average household spending on pets in 2010, measured only 22 percent of pet expenditures in 2015, falling from $163 to $116 over that period.

On average, households with one consumer spent the least on pet expenditures in 2015 ($360), while households with two consumers spent the most ($672). Average household spending on p…

Four Ways to Use SIC and NAICS Codes to Boost Marketing Effectiveness

From MarketingProfs:

For over 60 years, the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system has served as a widely accepted structure for the analysis of businesses participating in the US economy. Marketers have long looked to the SIC system and its predecessor—the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)—to simplify the processes behind identifying, segmenting, and targeting potential customers and prospects.

But what if you don't have a lot of marketing experience in an industry? Perhaps you are just starting out and need to quickly understand the makeup of your potential customers and prospects, and profile them.

Understanding SIC and NAICS can seem like a daunting task, but having a cursory comprehension of these systems can help you support various marketing activities.

The US Census Bureau assigns one code to each establishment based on its primary activity (generally the activity that generates the most revenue). Classification codes are typically derived fro…

Top Skills Employers Want

From The Balance:
What skills are most important for companies that are hiring? There are some skills and qualities that employers require of all applicants for employment, regardless of the position they are hiring for.

These are called soft skills, and they include the interpersonal skills and attributes you need to succeed in the workplace.

In addition, there are the more tangible skills you need in order to do the job effectively.

These are called hard skills, and they are the specific knowledge and abilities required to do the job. Here's information on the difference between hard and soft skills.

You’ll need both for most jobs, and it's important to show employers that you have the skills they need when you're applying and interviewing for jobs.

U.S. House Committee on Small Business Hearing April 5

Don't Miss U.S. House Committee on Small Business Hearing, "Taking Care of Small Business: Working Together for a Better SBA"

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 11 am EDT

Linda McMahon, SBA Administrator will appear in front of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business. The hearing titled, "Taking Care of Small Business: Working Together for a Better SBA" is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The Honorable Linda McMahon was sworn in on February 14, 2017 as the 25th Administrator of the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). From 1980 to 2009, Administrator McMahon was active in her family's company, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., eventually becoming President and Chief Executive Officer. WWE began as a small regional company and grew into a large, global business. The Committee will hear from Administrator McMahon about her priorities for entrepreneurs and the SBA.

To vie…

Updated County Profiles for NYS

Cornell Program on Applied Demographics has updated the series of county profiles it published a few years ago. PAD got many requests for an update and finally, it is here.

This update consists mainly of updated data, but also includes some changes in charts and tables. PAD also decided to concentrate on Demographic, Social and Economic data in this update and not update the agricultural and related data that was in the 2013 version.

The updated profiles can be found here.

Automation: Taking or Changing Jobs?

From the American Institute for Economic Research:

In March 2017, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made headlines by saying that the displacement of jobs by artificial intelligence was “not even on our radar screen … 50-100 more years” away.

This drew a host of shocked responses from those who point out that AI and automation have already eliminated millions of American jobs and may replace many more in the next 5 or 10 years, let alone 50–100. In fairness to the secretary, his comment responded directly to a question about artificial intelligence. In the broader discussion, he spoke about low-paying jobs being replaced by automation, which many of the critiques consider together with artificial intelligence.

The impact of automation is of unquestionable importance: One report released on the same day as Secretary Mnuchin’s comments suggested that 38 percent of U.S. jobs are at “high risk” of automation in the next 20 years.