Chelan-Douglas Trends e-Newsletter

Issue #12

NEWS FROM THE REGION!

LORI BARNETT - COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, CITY OF EAST WENATCHEE

Lori Barnett Photo

Welcome to the latest edition of the Chelan Douglas Trends Newsletter. This newsletter highlights a sample of information from various Trends indicators illustrating how that data can be used. The Trends website was developed through a lengthy public process resulting in a website that provides relevant data in one location in an easily accessible format. The information is gathered from various sources and compiled in a format that makes it easy to compare our region to other jurisdictions and the state as a whole. The variety of indicators provide a vital data resource for community residents and those looking to relocate their business or home to this beautiful area of the state. Not only is this data easily accessible, it can be downloaded and used for various purposes to tell your story or answer your questions. The ability to easily access this data is a tremendous benefit for my job whether it's for housing and land use planning, supporting data for grant applications or general information for the City Council. I hope you will take the time to search through the Trends indicators and familiarize yourself with this important data tool.

INDICATOR NEWS

HOW MUCH IS WASHINGTON STATE TAXING AND SPENDING?

Taxes graphic

Curious to know how much the state is spending on college education? Parks? Public health and safety? State and local governments have responded to the demand for transparency by posting more and more information online; however, people with a strong background in internet research were the only ones able to find that information - until now.

The State and Local Government Snapshot is the most comprehensive and compact view of local government data spanning across the U.S. The tool, created by the U.S. Census Bureau, is a nifty innovation…

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AMERICANS - THIS IS HOW AMERICA RUNS

Life in America graphic

Apart from the lengthy and detailed scientific method, it is still part of the human experience to try and simplify complicated things in order to help make sense of them. Simplifying the complicated is part of the beauty of data visualizations.

One informative and fun example shows what Americans are doing at any given time throughout a standard 24-hour day. What are typically considered standard working hours from 8am to 5pm are also the best time for leisure and sleep activities for many people, but for how many people in America and exactly at what time are…

INCARCERATION RATES FOR EACH U.S. STATE - COMPARED TO OTHER COUNTRIES

Jail graphic

Crime statistics, by nature, can be a little fuzzy, since they are based on crimes that law enforcement know about. To "know" of a crime, the crime needs to receive an official response from law enforcement. In the minimum, law enforcement must acknowledge it having occurred to officially count in crime statistics.

There are crimes that are almost always reported, like motor vehicle theft and arson, as well as crimes like arson that the authorities will discover on their own as part of an overall public safety response…

INDICATORS IN ACTION

COST OF LIVING IS AFFORDABLE IN COMBINED COUNTIES -

2.2.7 graph

Yogi Berra once said "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore." While intended to be funny, the truth is nickels and dimes provide different consumer purchasing power across different parts of the U.S. So, how do we really know how much it costs to live in any given area?

The Cost of Living Index, or more formally known as the Metro Area Regional Price Parity (RPP) provides some answers.

According to the source for this indicator, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), RPP's "measure the differences in price levels across states and metropolitan…


LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE HIGH -

2.3.6 graph

While the second headquarters of Amazon is projected to create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs to a large metro area, a parallel question for the local economy would be: If the two counties were to add 1,000 jobs, where would the workforce come from? With unemployment low, could potential workers who are currently not in the labor force be persuaded to apply?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), "The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons. The labor force participation rate is the labor force as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional…

FAIR MARKET RENT: DIFFERENT THAN WHAT RENTERS ACTUALLY PAY -

6.2.7 graph

The housing market. It seems that everywhere you look, housing prices are climbing upward, pricing people out of the market. With such shifting dynamics, all of which are increasing pressure on rent, what is deemed a fair market rent and what should a typical household expect to pay? These are valid questions that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) try to address by creating estimates of "fair market rents" for all the metro areas in the nation.

HUD's fair market rent estimates reflect the local rental market conditions as to the costs of gross rent that a typical…

5-QUESTIONS WITH:

MARK KULAAS - WENATCHEE CITY COUNCIL MEMBER AND LAND SERVICES DIRECTOR, DOUGLAS COUNTY

Mark Kulaas Photo

Q: Can you tell us what are the most critical issues facing you at your day job in Douglas County? And in your view, what are the most pressing concerns the Wenatchee City Council is taking up?
A
: The issues and concerns are parallel, if not the same. We want to create communities, world-class communities that are responsive to current needs at the same time looking forward to leave a foundation that generations yet born can build on.

Q: How does data generally inform your response to these issues and concerns?
A
: Data can tell us three things: what was, what is and what might be. When we view data comprehensively across data sets, we can…