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The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is the center of the Eighth District of the Federal Reserve System. This District includes Arkansas, eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, western Kentucky and Tennessee, and northern Mississippi.

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The educational and health services sector is no longer recession-proof

[embedded content] The FRED Blog has discussed how resilient the educational services industry has been to recessions: Employment levels in schools and colleges in New York City and California, for example, decreased at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic but bounced back mid-year.* With 2020 behind us, we use the Employment Situation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to revisit this topic. The FRED graph above shows that since 1991, when data for educational services employment...

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The industrial composition of recessions

[embedded content] Every recession is different, affecting some industries more than others. Analyzing the composition of the recession may reveal how the recovery from the recession may progress, as jobs in some industries appear easier to fill than jobs in other industries. The recession that followed the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) resulted in a substantial downturn in construction, among other industries. Triggered by lockdowns associated with containing COVID-19, the 2020...

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The federal budget balance as a fraction of GDP : Tracking data from two sources with two different calendars

[embedded content] The FRED Blog has discussed how many weekdays there are per month, quarter, and year. (It may seem trivial, but when you work with data, you need to be precise about federal and local holidays and how weekends shake out in a given month.) Today, we consider two data sources, each with its own calendar year. The FRED graph above shows the balance of the federal government budget as a percent of GDP. To calculate the budget balance, we subtract the value of federal net...

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Visualizing the Fed’s new monetary policy tools

[embedded content] First, let’s introduce some of the monetary policy terms we’ll be using here: Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC): The seven members of the Board of Governors; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and, on a rotating basis, the presidents of four other Reserve Banks. Nonvoting Reserve Bank presidents also participate in deliberations and discussion. Federal funds rate (FFR): The interest rate at which depository institutions and Federal Home Loan...

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Comparing the minimum wage with the average wage

[embedded content] You’ve likely seen discussions about the minimum wage in the news and in the FRED Blog. We’ve discussed its value across states its inflation-adjusted value its correlation with the shrinking fraction of the labor force earning it the number of workers paid at or below it and minimum-wage workers’ demographic profiles Today, we approach the topic from a different perspective. In the FRED graph above, the blue line tracks the fraction of the average weekly earnings...

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The growing share of spending on recreation : It’s not all fun and games, but there’s definitely more

[embedded content] The FRED Blog illuminates interesting graphs from the growing library of FRED data. We often discuss heady and thoughtful topics, but we also showcase the fun side of data. And from the looks of today’s graph, we’re not alone in seeking out the sunny side of the street… The FRED graph above shows the percent of real personal consumption expenditures devoted to recreational goods and services. Between 2002 and 2019, this share has almost constantly increased. (The sole...

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Spending on tobacco products and smoking supplies over time and across groups

[embedded content] Last week, we used data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys to discuss changes in what people spend on reading materials. Here, we use the same data release to look at what people spend on tobacco products and smoking supplies. Our first FRED graph shows that, between 1986 and 2019, overall spending on tobacco/smoking decreased for the sum total of all surveyed households. We’ve adjusted the annual dollar figures by the consumer price index for these products to...

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What the young and old spent on reading materials: 2019 vs. 1984 : Naturally, reading the free FRED Blog doesn’t count

[embedded content] FRED now has data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Surveys, which are used to keep the consumer price index (CPI) up to date with the current basket of goods and services bought by households. Here, we use that survey data to analyze spending on reading materials.* The FRED graph above shows spending on reading for seven age groups in 2019. Hover over the pie chart slices to see how much each age group spent relative to the total for all age...

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Gauging the recovery in retail sales at bars and restaurants

[embedded content] The FRED Blog has discussed how, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, households cut back on eating out and increased food purchases to prepare meals at home. With data from the U.S. Census Bureau, we created a FRED graph with two lines to compare sales at restaurants and bars with sales at grocery stores.* Today, we use the same Census dataset to re-examine the topic from a different perspective. The red line in our FRED graph today shows the value of retail...

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The state of the minimum wage : Comparing U.S. state minimum wages in 2010 and 2021

View on GeoFRED® The federal minimum wage has remained constant at $7.25 per hour since July 2009. The real value of this wage has declined over the past decade, and many people discuss if, when, and how this federal minimum should increase. Not all U.S. workers earning minimum wage, however, have had a stagnant pay rate since 2009. Many U.S. states have increased their minimum wage rates to account for inflation and other changes in cost of living. View on GeoFRED® These GeoFRED maps...

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