Census bureau query: How are you spending your paycheck?

The analysis, which is conducted for and used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, breaks down…

Georgia (Oct 28, 2010)


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The analysis, which is conducted for and used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, breaks down how much we spend on most of our daily needs, including housing, utilities, health care, transportation and food. The survey is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau but is commissioned by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And it's used by everyone, from federal officials in gauging inflation to economists seeking to understand consumer spending. Government economists use the results of the survey to update information for the consumer price index, which is our nation's most widely used measure of inflation.

Businesses also use it to determine areas of growth and decline, public policy and economic leaders said. Basically, if people are eating out more, the results would encourage opening a restaurant. If people are eating at home more, the restaurants would push their popular menu items in the frozen food aisle at grocery stores.

"If you are looking at the buying habits of American consumers, you can learn a lot about spending priorities and the direction consumers are going," said Kathy Schwaig, interim dean of the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University.

Businesses use the survey results as supplementary information to back up their data since they do their own market analysis, Schwaig said.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu