Statistics are used to prove points, bolster arguments, support needs, justify an existence and much more. What we buy, where we work, what we do in our spare time, and our health all get translated into statistics that are studied by businesses, governments, and academicians. Statistics are a part of our everyday life yet they can be baffling to understand and difficult to find.
If you want to gain some basic knowledge of statistics, you might want to start with some books in the library. The list below will get you started.
There are many places you can turn to for the statistics you need. The librarians in the H&R Block Business and Career Center can help you with your research. Listed below are some things you need to ask yourself:
The federal government does a census of businesses every five years. The Economic Census  gives the number of businesses, employment, and payroll figures broken down by industry type (NAICS) and by geography.
Agencies within the U.S. government employ a number of tools to help regulate the economy. The data that is generated is made available through many sources including Economic Indicators , the Economic Report of the President , and the Bureau of Economic Analysis  as well as the Bureau of Labor Statistics .
All government agencies collect data related to their area of responsibility. Thus, statistics regarding education, health, labor, crime, food, housing, transportation and much more is made available. A place to start in your research for a bevy of statistics is FedStats . Current, as well as historical data, can be found in Statistical Abstract .
Although federal statistical sources provide some local data, there are additional sources to turn to. Mid-America Regional Council  (MARC), the local planning agency is a good starting place. MARC makes available a wealth of economic, demographic and transportation statistics on their website. For additional sources, take a look at our Local Business and Information Guide .
For additional information, contact an H&R Block Business & Career Center librarian by phone, 816.701.3717, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org .