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Planning Methods

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Planning Methods

URP 6200 Planning Methods I

Assignment 2: Economic Base Analysis of a Local Community

Total Points: 15%

In this assignment students are expected to write a short report to profile a local community’s basic vs. non-basic sectors. Use the same county that you selected for your first assignment. The report should follow the structure indicated below and must have an electronic copy submitted to Canvas. All the student assignments are subject to check for originality.

All the charts, tables and maps should be sequentially numbered and named (e.g. Figure 1: Racial composition of the county; Table 1: Historic population counts, etc.). Sources of the data should be properly credited following the charts/tables/maps. Sparely cite the charts/tables/maps from other sources and create them yourself if possible. Use APA citation format for all your references. Use 1.15 line spacing and appropriate font types. Either landscape or portrait page orientation is acceptable. Organize the tables, graphs, maps, and the text in a way that is nether cluttered nor with too much space. Align your texts, tables, graphs, maps, and the text. Insert page numbers. Use headings and subheadings, which will be useful for creating the Table of Contents automatically. Headings and subheadings should be stressed with either bold, larger font sizes, different colors, or a combination of these techniques. Maps should have all the map elements, such as the map itself, legend, north arrow, scale bar, creator, and creation date. Page margins should be 1” all around. You can use Microsoft Publisher or Photoshop Illustrator to format your report if you choose to do so. Otherwise, please submit a Microsoft Word or Adobe pdf file to Canvas. Adobe pdf files are highly suggested since Word files sometimes shift when opening in a different version, different computer, or different operating system.



Learning objectives of the assignment:

Format and techniques of professional report writing

The use of secondary data sources in profiling a local community Basic techniques in creating professional charts and tables

The calculation of Location Quotients to measure economic strength of an are

Structure of the report:

1.  Cover page: topic, student name, course name and number, date

Topic: e.g. Economic Base Analysis of Palm Beach County, Florida


  1. 2.    Table of Contents, List of Tables, and List of Figures


  1. 3.    Executive Summary: main findings should be in this section.


  1. 4.    Introduction


Briefly introduce the county’s economic characteristics. Then mention that you will focus on economic base analysis by using the Census data. Explain your methodology.


5. Economic Base Analysis


In this section you need to find the employment data by different industries for your county, compare the data with those at the state level and calculate Location Quotients and Base Multipliers.


Most of the aggregated data on business establishment, employment and payroll can be obtained from the American FactFinder ( http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.) and the County Business Patterns ( http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/index.html). Some data can be also retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In this assignment we use data from the County Business Patterns website. Go to  http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/index.html, choose


Data, and “CBP Data Tables”. Choose “U.S., States, Counties, Puerto Rico and Island Areas Tables - 2014”.

Choose the state where your county is located at. Then either copy and paste the data, or down load the data table to Excel. Downloading is recommended to preserve all the data information. After you download the state-level data and save them to an Excel file, on the same webpage, choose “add/remove geographies” and find your county. Remove the state information if you prefer and download the county information to another Excel file. Or you can keep the state and the county information together, save it to one Excel file and then reorganize the data based on the following assignments. Two-digit NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) industry code is sufficient.


5.1 Calculate the percentage share of employment for each industry among total employment at the county and state levels. Create two radar/rose diagrams to delineate the shares at both the county and the state levels. Include the charts in your report and describe your findings and comparisons.


5.2.        Calculate the percentage share of annual payroll for each industry among all industries at the county and state levels. Create two radar/rose diagrams to delineate the shares at both the county and the state levels. Include the charts in your report and describe your findings and comparisons.


5.3.        Calculate the annual payroll per employee for each industry at the county and state levels. Create a clustered bar chart to delineate the annual payroll per employee for each industry at the county and the state levels. Include the chart in your report and describe your findings and comparisons.

5.4.Create a few new worksheets and organize your county and state data in Excel based on the Excel file “Assumption and LQ Model”. Calculate the basic employment of the county based on Assumption approach, Location Quotients approach, and Simple Combination approach. Create a radar/rose diagram of the LQs for each industry in the county. Explain what the LQ means for each industry. Include all three tables (assumption, LQ, and simple combination) and the LQ chart in your report.

5.5.        Calculate the employment base multiplier for the county based on the simple combination approach. Explain what it means.


  1. 6.    References


  1. 7.    Appendices (if applicable)

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