Thursday, March 27, 2014

Elderscholar Presentation at Roanoke College on Sentiments in the Commonwealth

Stephanie Garst of Roanoke College runs a wonderful program for seniors and retirees in the local community called Elderscholar. I presented to this group several years ago about my research on aging adults and obesity.

Today I will give a presentation on economic indicators in the Commonwealth. You can see the slides for my presentation below.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Presentation for the 2014 VAE Annual Meeting - Using Twitter in the Classroom

I am presenting twice at the 2014 Virginia Association of Economists Annual Meeting March 20-21. One of my presentations is of my paper (out next moth in the Journal of Economic Education) on using Twitter in the classroom to improve writing, reflection, and community.

You can see the slides of that presentation here:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Presentation for The Management Institute, Roanoke College 3/13/2014

I gave a presentation on health and health care issues in the workplace for the 2014 class of The Management Institute @Roanoke College. My presentation can be seen below:

Health Care in the Workplace TMI 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February Real Estate Index - Request for additional questions

Included in the survey administered to produce the Consumer Sentiment and Inflation Expectations Report are questions used to generate a Real Estate Index for Virginia. We began this index and release in November 2013, so it continues to be a work in progress.

Today the February release came out and can be found here.

The first figure in the release is shown below and it sums up our findings: the real estate market is improving, but sentiments are stronger for sellers. Why? We plan to add probing questions in the May survey to better discern this, but I believe that it has a lot to do with low inventories (increasing optimism of sellers) and rising interest and flood insurance rates (decreasing optimism of buyers).

The overall measure shows respondents sentiment of the overall real estate market where they live, both today compared to a year ago (current) and next year compared to today (future). "Sell" and "Buy" uses respondents answers about the current/future environment to sell/buy a property. The index value is the difference between those reporting optimism and pessimism; a value of zero suggests a balance between the two. The black line illustrates a thriving market.

What probing questions would you like us to ask? We have data on income, race/ethnicity, age, etc., but would like to add follow-up questions to get to the details of respondents' beliefs.

Monday, February 17, 2014

February Virginia Consumer Sentiment Report is here!

Each quarter I produce a consumer sentiment and price expectations report for the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is one of my duties with the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research. Being a data junkie, this is one of my favorite parts of my job as an economist and I have a great team of folks that help in the effort.

Consumer Sentiment Index Values
Blue line = US measure, Black line = 2-period moving
average for US, orange bar = VA measure

To see the latest report, go here.

In sum, things are looking better in Virginia as consumer sentiment returns to its upward trend after a deviation in the last quarter of 2013. Opinions about the future of the economy are slightly better than those of the nation as a whole, although Virginians' continue to take a bleaker view of the current economy.

I will be posting radio interviews (so far with WVTF and WFIR) and various graphics about the report on my Tumblr page.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Presentation for the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center

This morning I gave a presentation on some aspects of the new health care law that are of interest to small business owners. The event was sponsored by the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center and my former student, Brunella Salazar-Gonti `13, was one of the organizers.

Below are copies of my presentation and my handout.


Thanks to the organizers and all who came,

Monday, November 11, 2013

PPACA Small Business Exchange Premium Rates

Small businesses have a health insurance exchange or marketplace similar to that for individuals under the new health care law: Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)

A small business is defined as one who employs no more than 25 full time equivalents (FTE), pays no more than $50,000 in average annual wages to those employees, and who contributes at least 50% of the premium expense for those employees enrolled in the qualified exchange plan.

Curious about SHOP rates in your area? Use the database below to get some estimates. The rate is determined by the primary business location.

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I will be presenting some details about options for small businesses on November 13th for the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center. For more information about the event, go here.