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Tech Trade in the States: A State by State Overview of International Trade in Tech Goods

April 14, 2014 Comments off

Tech Trade in the States: A State by State Overview of International Trade in Tech Goods (PDF)
Source: Tech America Foundation

TechAmerica Foundation proudly presents our 2014 edition of Tech Trade in the States: A State-by-State Overview of International Trade of Tech Goods. It provides 2012 data on tech trade at the national level and export data for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The report also provides an estimate as to the number of jobs that are supported by export activities.

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5 Tech Trends to Watch 2014

April 9, 2014 Comments off

5 Tech Trends to Watch 2014 (PDF)
Source: Consumer Electronics Association

Technology has the power to transform lives – our products and services educate, entertain and connect consumers. To identify some of the technologies poised to improve our world, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® created Five Technology Trends to Watch. This annual publication looks at five areas that promise to have a dramatic impact on the $203 billion consumer electronics (CE) industry.

In the 2014 issue, using the latest consumer research and market forecasts, CEA looks at the Internet of Things (IoT), driverless cars, digital health care, robotics and content curation. Each of these advances holds the potential to enrich our lives, and in some cases, massively change them.

The Future of Transportation Infrastructure Investments: Determining Best Practices for States’ Funding and Financing Mechanisms

March 18, 2014 Comments off

The Future of Transportation Infrastructure Investments: Determining Best Practices for States’ Funding and Financing Mechanisms (PDF)
Source: Associated Equipment Distributors (by Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, College of William & Mary)
From press release:

Policymakers working to fix America’s crumbling transportation network have an important new tool. A study by researchers at the College of William & Mary’s Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy (TJPPP) released Jan. 31 examines the vast array of funding and financing mechanisms states are using to pay for roads and bridges. The report, which was sponsored by Associated Equipment Distributors, a trade association representing construction equipment dealers, includes a chart to allow quick comparison between state programs. The study comes as the federal highway program faces unprecedented challenges. The Congressional Budget Office reported in July 2013 that due to inadequate Highway Trust Fund (HTF) resources, Congress would need to reduce the authority to obligate funds in FY 2015 to zero for both highways and transit.

U.S. Solar Market Insight: By the end of 2013 there were nearly 13 GW of solar installed in the U.S.–-enough to power nearly 2.2 million homes.

March 12, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Solar Market Insight: By the end of 2013 there were nearly 13 GW of solar installed in the U.S.–-enough to power nearly 2.2 million homes
Source: Solar Energy Industries Association

The U.S. installed 4,751 MW of solar PV in 2013, up 41% over 2012 and nearly fifteen times the amount installed in 2008. Twenty-nine percent of all new electricity generation capacity added this year in the U.S. came from solar–with seven states getting 100% of their new generation from solar.

Executive summary free; full report available for purchase.

Record 10.7 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2013

March 11, 2014 Comments off

Record 10.7 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2013
Source: American Public Transportation Association

In 2013 Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation, which is the highest annual public transit ridership number in 57 years, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This was the eighth year in a row that more than 10 billion trips were taken on public transportation systems nationwide. While vehicle miles traveled on roads (VMT) went up 0.3 percent, public transportation use in 2013 increased by 1.1 percent.

Airline Passenger Demand Maintains Historic Growth Rates in 2013

February 7, 2014 Comments off

Passenger Demand Maintains Historic Growth Rates in 2013
Source: International Air Transport Association

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced full-year traffic results for 2013 showing a 5.2% increase in passenger demand compared to 2012. The 2013 performance aligns with the average annual growth rate of the past 30 years. Capacity rose 4.8% and load factor averaged 79.5% up 0.4 percentage points over 2012.

Demand in international markets (5.4%) expanded at a slightly faster rate than domestic travel (4.9%).Strongest overall growth (domestic and international combined) was recorded by carriers in the Middle East (11.4%) followed by Asia-Pacific (7.1%), Latin America (6.3%) and Africa (5.2%). The slowest growth was in the developed markets of North America (2.3%) and Europe (3.8%).

Northridge Anniversary: Surprising Poll Results 20 Years After Costliest Earthquake in U.S. History

January 27, 2014 Comments off

Northridge Anniversary: Surprising Poll Results 20 Years After Costliest Earthquake in U.S. History
Source: Insurance Information Institute

A recent poll by the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) found that only one out of 10 American homeowners (10 percent) have earthquake insurance, compared with 13 percent in 2012. In western states, 22 percent of homeowners said they have earthquake insurance, down from 27 percent.

The 6.7 magnitude quake, which hit Los Angeles on January 17, 1994, also still ranks as the fourth-costliest U.S. disaster, based on insured property losses (in 2013 dollars), topped only by Hurricane Katrina, the attacks on the World Trade Center and Hurricane Andrew.

On the global scale, the Northridge earthquake still ranks as the second costliest earthquake for insurers, after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami of 2011, according to Munich Re.

Winter Storms

January 8, 2014 Comments off

Winter Storms
Source: Insurance Information Institute

Winter storms caused $1.9 billion in insured losses in 2013, up dramatically from $38 million in 2012, according to reports from Munich Re. From 1993 to 2012 winter storms resulted in about $28 billion in insured catastrophe losses (in 2012 dollars), or more than $1 billion a year on average, according to Property Claim Services (PCS).

Up to 480,000 High-Skilled Jobs Are at Risk Due to Congestion

December 9, 2013 Comments off

Up to 480,000 High-Skilled Jobs Are at Risk Due to Congestion
Source: American Public Transportation Association

According to findings in a study released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), companies located in the nation’s most productive regions need additional public transportation to reach their full employment potential.

The report, The Role of Transit in Support of High Growth Business Clusters in the U.S., conducted by the Economic Development Research Corporation and commissioned by APTA, projects that 480,000 new jobs representing $32 billion per year in income will be at risk due to congestion by 2040. The study was released at a U.S. Capitol Hill briefing sponsored by the Congressional Public Transportation Caucus.

The study examines the key high-growth and high-tech business clusters in the United States and analyzes the impact transportation access constraints have on eight areas. They are: “Medline” area in Atlanta, GA; Kendall Square in Boston, MA; Route 128 Technology Cluster in Burlington, MA; Mid-Town and South of Market, San Francisco, CA; Silicon Valley, CA; Deerfield, IL; Technology Center, Denver, CO; and South Lake Union, Seattle, WA.

NRF Forecasts Marginal Sales Gains This Holiday Season

December 2, 2013 Comments off

NRF Forecasts Marginal Sales Gains This Holiday Season
Source: National Retail Federation

NRF expects sales in the months of November and December to marginally increase 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion, over 2012’s actual 3.5 percent holiday season sales growth. The forecast is higher than the 10-year average holiday sales growth of 3.3 percent.

Economic variables including positive growth in the U.S. housing marketing and the increased consumer appetite to buy larger-ticket items give retailers reason to be cautiously optimistic for solid holiday season gains. However, much remains up in the air, including fiscal concerns around the debt ceiling and government funding, income growth and even policies and actions surrounding foreign affairs, all of which could impact holiday sales. According to NRF, the holiday season can account for anywhere from 20-40 percent of a retailer’s annual sales, and accounts for approximately 20 percent of total industry annual sales.

Cities with Rail-to-Airport Connection Boost Hotel Revenue

November 22, 2013 Comments off

Cities with Rail-to-Airport Connection Boost Hotel Revenue
Source: American Public Transportation Association/U.S. Travel Association

Several American cities have a secret weapon to attract business travelers and lucrative meetings and conventions – a rail line to the airport terminal. According to a study released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the U.S. Travel Association, hotels in cities with direct rail access from downtown to airport terminals receive nearly 11 percent more revenue per room than hotels in cities without a rail airport connection.

The jointly released study, A New Partnership: Rail Transit and Convention Growth, shows that higher revenue per room translates to a potential $313 million in revenue per year for “rail cities” – cities which have direct rail access to airport terminals. In the post-recession period, rail cities commanded 16 percent higher revenue per room than hotels in non-rail cities.

According to the study, hotel properties located within ¼ mile of a rail station performed even better than those outside of that radius. These hotel properties averaged a nearly 50 percent higher (48.6 percent) daily room rate and a 12.5 percent higher occupancy rate.

Cost of Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Down for 2013

November 15, 2013 Comments off

Cost of Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Down for 2013
Source: American Farm Bureau Federation

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 28th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.04, a 44-cent price decrease from last year’s average of $49.48.

NICB Releases 2012 Heavy Equipment Theft Report

October 15, 2013 Comments off

NICB Releases 2012 Heavy Equipment Theft Report
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

The National Insurance Crime Bureau today released a report on heavy equipment thefts in 2012. This report, co-produced with the National Equipment Register (NER), examines heavy equipment theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and profiles that data according to theft state, theft city, theft month, equipment manufacturer, equipment style (type) and year of manufacture. The report also examines heavy equipment recoveries in 2012 based on those same criteria. NER is a division of Verisk Crime Analytics, a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) company.

In 2012, a total of 10,925 heavy equipment thefts were reported to law enforcement—a decrease of 7 percent from the 11,705 reported in 2011. When compared with the 13,511 reported thefts in 2008, there has been an overall 19 percent reduction in heavy equipment thefts.

Texas ranked number one in 2012 with 1,401 reported thefts. In second place was North Carolina with 1,037 thefts followed by Florida in third with 890 thefts. In fourth place was California with 686 thefts, and tied for fifth—Georgia and South Carolina with 595 each. The top five cities with the most thefts were Houston (163); Miami (107); Conroe, Texas (83); Oklahoma City, Okla. (79) and Fresno, Calif. (64).

The Economic Impact of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the United States

October 15, 2013 Comments off

The Economic Impact of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the United States (PDF)
Source: Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International

1. The economic impact of the integration of UAS into the NAS will total more than $13.6 billion…in the first three years of integration and will grow sustainably for the foreseeable future, cumulating to more than $82.1 billion between 2015 and 2025…;

2. Integration into the NAS will create more than 34,000 manufacturing jobs…and more than 70,000 new jobs in the first three years…;

3. By 2025, total job creation is estimated at 103,776…;

4. The manufacturing jobs created will be high paying ($40,000) and require technical baccalaureate degrees;

5. Tax revenue to the states will total more than $482 million in the first 11 years following integration (2015-2025); and

6. Every year that integration is delayed, the United States loses more than $10 billion in potential economic impact. This translates to a loss of $27.6. million per day that UAS are not integrated into the NAS.

Millennial Generation Desires Multi-Modal Transportation System

October 4, 2013 Comments off

Millennial Generation Desires Multi-Modal Transportation System
Source: American Public Transportation Association

The largest generation in U.S. history and the most multi-modal could be a game changer for public transporation and America’s transporation network as a whole. The millennial generation chooses the most practical transportation mode (driving, public transit, biking or walking) for each trip, and this flexible concept of mobility is spreading. According to the study Millennials and Mobility, nearly 70 percent of millennials, people 18 to 34, use multiple travel options several times or more per week.

The study, which was released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), shows that while car-sharing, bike-sharing, walking and car ownership will all play a part in the multi-modal network, public transportation is ranked highest as the best mode to connect to all other modes, according to 54 percent of millennials polled. APTA officials note that the recent trend of smartphone applications allow public transit users to be increasingly spontaneous and flexible with their travel decisions. This is a game changing element because it closes the gap with the perceived benefit of auto use.

New Study Finds Search Engines Play Critical Role in Introducing Audiences To Infringing Content Online

September 19, 2013 Comments off

New Study Finds Search Engines Play Critical Role in Introducing Audiences To Infringing Content Online (PDF)
Source: Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

Today, MPAA Chairman Senator Chris Dodd joined Representatives Howard Coble, Adam Schiff, Marsha Blackburn and Judy Chu on Capitol Hill to release the results of a new study that found that search engines play a significant role in introducing audiences to infringing movies and TV shows online. Infringing content is a TV show or movie that has been stolen and illegally distributed online without any compensation to the show or film’s owner.

The study found that search is a major gateway to the initial discovery of infringing content online, even in cases when the consumer was not looking for infringing content. 74% of consumers surveyed cited using a search engine as a navigational tool the first time they arrived at a site with infringing content. And the majority of searches (58%) that led to infringing content contained only general keywords — such as the titles of recent films or TV shows, or phrases related to watching films or TV online — and not specific keywords aimed at finding illegitimate content.

According to the study, first time consumers at sites with infringing content were more than twice as likely as repeat consumers to use a search engine in their navigation path. Search engine use naturally becomes less prevalent once audiences bookmark or find other ways to access the site. The vast majority (82%) of queries that led to the infringing content examined came from the largest search engine, Google.

The study also found no evidence that the change Google made to its algorithm last year to take into account the number of copyright takedown notices a site has received had an impact on searchreferred traffic to infringing sites. The share of referral traffic from Google to infringing sites included in the Google Transparency Report remained flat in the three months following Google’s implementation of the change last August.

The influence of trade associations and group certification programs on the hardwood certification movement

August 21, 2013 Comments off

The influence of trade associations and group certification programs on the hardwood certification movement
Source: U.S. Forest Service

Forest certification has gained momentum around the world over the past two decades. Although there are advantages to being certified, many forest landowners and forest products manufacturers consider forest certification of U.S. forest and forest products unnecessary. Many believe that U.S. forests are already sustainably managed, the current certification systems are not trustworthy, and certification programs, in their current state, are too costly. To promote the sustainability of U.S. forests and address issues that landowners and forest products manufacturers have with certification, governmental agencies, trade associations, and environmental agencies have become involved in the certification movement. These organizations assist landowners and manufacturers by creating group certification programs and providing information and tools necessary to obtain certification. In 2009, a study was conducted to determine how the involvement of governmental agencies, trade associations, and environmental agencies influenced the certification movement. Research was conducted through a mail-based survey to 1,239 primary hardwood manufacturers in the Appalachian Region and through case studies of the Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc., (AHMI) Association, the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Results indicated that these entities were instrumental in increasing the awareness of certification and providing the tools their members need to become certified. Through the programs implemented by these entities, the supply of certified raw material and the number of certified forest products manufacturers has increased.

NICB’s Hot Wheels: Popular 10 Most Stolen Vehicles List

August 21, 2013 Comments off

NICB’s Hot Wheels: Popular 10 Most Stolen Vehicles List
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released an expanded, data-rich version of its popular Hot Wheels report—its list of the 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States. The report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model and model year most reported stolen in 2012.

A first-edition feature is also contained in today’s report: a look at the top 25 2012 vehicle makes and models that were reported stolen in calendar year 2012.

+ Full Report

The Value of Government Meetings

August 19, 2013 Comments off

The Value of Government Meetings (PDF)
Source: United States Travel Association (Rockport Analytics)

New, comprehensive research makes clear that government travel for meetings and attendance at conferences is vital to making government more efficient in carrying out its mission, more responsive to citizens and more effective in partnering with the private sector.

In the context of tight government budgets and constrained public sector spending, public agencies at all levels of government have made deep cuts to travel and meetings budgets. But this new report clearly shows the shortterm savings that across-the-board meetings and conference cancellations deliver come at a much greater longterm cost.

A Commonsense Solution for a Stronger Postal Service

August 16, 2013 Comments off

A Commonsense Solution for a Stronger Postal Service
Source: Greeting Card Association

The Greeting Card Association’s (GCA) comm onsense solution puts the United States Postal Service (USPS) on a path to solvency without cutting critical services or raising rates. There are more than 100 deficit reduction proposals provided by past U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reports that offer numerous combinations for ending the total structur al deficit of the Postal Service. Using these, the GCA shows that the total Postal Service budget deficit can be fixed in three steps:

First , the Postal Service should immediately implement cluster boxes on a widespread national scale using its existing management authority to do so, and drop politically divisive plans for Congress to end Saturday mail delivery;

Second , the Postal Service should work with Congress to achieve a solution to the Retiree Health Benefits system (RHB) prefunding issue by amending the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) and get this stand-alone legislation passed before the August recess;

Third , the Postal Service should evaluate the impact of the first two steps during the rest of this year and if more deficit reductions are needed, it should first draw from the list of 53 remaining proposals herein that it can implement under its existing management authority.

Cutting services is not the commonsense soluti on when there are so many other options available. The GCA has had a longstanding policy position that the best way to solve the Postal Service’s structural deficit and return it to so lvency is to identify proposals that maintain universal service at affordable prices for every citizen throughout the country.

This analysis demonstrates that cutting essenti al services such as Saturday delivery is not necessary to fix the Postal Service’s budget deficit. There are more than 100 deficit reduction alternatives from recent GAO and Postal Service OIG reports that can replace ending Saturday delivery, either alone or in combination. None raises rates or cuts service. 54 of these proposals would not require any collective bargaining or legislation by Congress.

Rate increases will only add to the problem. Rate increases are counter-productive and will only add to the structural deficit faced by the Postal Service by driving even more postal volume away to competing products and services. Even a relatively modest rate increase would drive one billion pieces of single piece letter mail out of the system.

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