White House Cites Census Bureau as Federal Digital Leader
“America’s Economy,” the U.S. Census Bureau’s first mobile application, is now available for iPhone and iPad. The America’s Economy mobile app provides updated statistics on the U.S. economy, including monthly economic indicators and economic trends.
At a White House event today marking the three-month anniversary of the Federal Digital Strategy, U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel announced the launch of the iPad and iPhone versions and cited the Census Bureau as prime example of a federal agency “making great strides towards putting a solid foundation for a 21st Century Digital Government in place.”
“The Census Bureau is now using 21st century technology to meet its centuries-old mission, making the statistics that define our growing, changing nation more accessible to the public than ever before,” said William Bostic Jr., the Census Bureau’s associate director for economic programs.
The app consolidates indicators from the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produce monthly and quarterly snapshots of key sectors within the U.S. economy. It provides smartphone and tablet users with real-time releases of 16 key government statistics that drive business hiring, sales and production decisions useful to small businesses, the construction industry, the banking industry, journalists, economists, planners, policymakers and anyone who wants to monitor U.S. economic data.
As of today, there are already more than 10,000 downloads from the Google Play store. As a leader in the Federal Digital Strategy, the Census Bureau continues to open its statistics to the American people through its Web Transformation Project. In the first three weeks since the Census Bureau’s Application Programming Interface was released in July, 860 developers received keys to access its data sets. The API will be updated with 2011 American Community Survey statistics in December.
“America’s Economy offers statistics on the go and expands Census Bureau statistics to a mobile device,” said Avi Bender, the Census Bureau’s chief technology officer. “America’s Economy and the Census API we released in July are examples of what is to come from the Census Bureau, such as improvements to the census.gov website and more mobile apps. This is all part of the Census Bureau’s digital transformation to provide the general public and the government workforce with access to information ‘anywhere, anytime, on any device,’ a key goal of the Federal Digital Strategy. To that end, we now provide for Internet responses to 60 different surveys.”
The following 16 key economic indicators will be available as part of the initial release of the app:
Advance Monthly Retail Sales
New Residential Construction
New Residential Sales
Advance Report Durable Goods
Quarterly Services Survey
QFR – Retail Trade
QFR – Manufacturing
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Gross Domestic Product
Personal Income and Outlays
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Users are able to set alerts to receive notifications when economic indicators are updated. They can also add statistical release schedules to their personal calendars. When each indicator is released, users can share the news on both Facebook and Twitter. Future updates of America’s Economy will include additional statistics.
The “America’s Economy” app became available to Android users on Aug. 9.