Talkin’ Baseball and the Game (Data Really) of the Week

Categories: Commentary |

November 25, 2013

A lot to cover as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday. Last week saw some very interesting data – some of which I will get to and the balance of which I encourage you to explore (see the last page for “Data Updates”). Before I get to the data of the week, I take a look at baseball – well, not really. I offer some perspective around the Braves picking up and moving from Atlanta to nearby Cobb County. Talkin’ Baseball So the Braves, the longtime tenant of Atlanta since they came from Milwaukee in 1966, are heading to the ‘burbs’ – Cobb County.

Talkin’ Baseball

A new stadium, seemingly a right of many major league (all sports) teams every 20 years or so is a big part of the allure as owners ask, which municipality will offer me the best package to house my team in their home? As a long-time (and suffering) Mets fan, I wished the Braves had moved to the American League!

With winter approaching and Spring training, a time when I will feel optimistic about my Mets, an oasis, I thought it might be worth taking a look at what this move by the Braves might mean to the City of Atlanta. Mind you, I am simply scratching the tip of the iceberg and hope that the city will take steps to offset the potential impact of this change. For those of you not much into baseball, some baseline factors to consider – each major league team plays 162 regular season games, that means 81 home games. The Braves, much to my chagrin, are perennial playoff participants (since 2000, eight post-season appearances and a World Series in 1999).

Below, courtesy of the DIVER data team, I present a table that looks at some economic factors as well as the DIVER Geo Score. While Atlanta still has its problems, it had been making progress – this is supported by better employment, income and wage and poverty-related data. I present Cobb data for a complete picture of the two areas.


DIVER Data Services, Lumesis, US Census Bureau, BLS, Onboard

The obvious question and concern is around, what is the impact of the Braves leaving Atlanta? I, for one, hope it means they suffer the “Curse of Aaron” (recall the Curse of the Bambino when the Red Sox traded Ruth –perhaps Hank Aaron will put a curse on the Braves). 81 games per season. Think jobs and tax revenue for the city. How is that replaced and what is the impact? I don’t have the answers and there is a bit of time as stadium construction doesn’t happen overnight. Let’s hope Atlanta has a plan.

Game (Data) of the Week

Regular readers know how I feel about the First Friday report (a survey of 60,000 or couple hundred thousand people – depending what part of the media-hyped data you refer to). The map and corresponding data set forth below will paint a very simple picture why.


DIVER Analytics, Map Module, BLS

A total of 45 States have a Labor Underutilization Rate of greater than 10%. I guess the good news is that only eight States have seen the LU rate rise from Q3 2012. Next I take a look at a combination of data sets that are quite telling – States where the Labor Force is less than it was a year earlier and where the number of Employed is less than a year prior: 26 States. A sampling of half those States below.


DIVER Analytics, Filter Module, BLS

One more point and then I will move on – 27 States have seen a decrease in the Employed as a Percent of the Population.  For those States with a level of reliance on income tax receipts, heads-up!   A sampling of 12 below.


DIVER Analytics, Filter Module, BLS

Pay attention to the data points and check the Geo Score (on the Lumesis website for free) to get a more comprehensive picture of the economic well-being of the States (counties and cities too).


As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of how much we have to be thankful for. I hope this Thanksgiving provides you an opportunity to spend time with family and friends and reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Wishing you and yours a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Have a great week.

Gregg L. Bienstock

CEO & Co-Founder, Lumesis, Inc.

Data Released Last Week:

  • Labor Force, Sep, Oct 2013, State
  • Labor Underutilization, State, 2013 Q3
  • Job Growth, Sep, Oct 2013, State
  • Unemployment and Unemployment Rank Change, Sep, Oct 2013, State
  • Weekly Initial and Continued Jobless Claims, State, 11/09/2013
  • Personal Income, Personal Income Change, Personal Income per Capita, Personal Income per Capita Change, County, 2012
  • Medicaid Spending Growth Rate, State, 2013
  • Education, E&S/Higher Budget 2013, State