Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Day-Job Hunt

I've been applying for jobs for the last few days. I'm a little impatient and anxious about hearing back for interviews, but I imagine employers these days must have huge stacks of applications on their desks.

I would really like to have my own business, but what? Video production? Graphic Design? Anyone need business cards, a logo, or retouched photo? How would you like to get your first website off the ground?

Who couldn't do that? At least I didn't try to invest in "Desktop Publishing" when I thought I could actually make a living at it. Everybody does it now.

I bide my time now doing economic research. For example, I compiled a database from the Illinois Department of Employment Services and the Census Bureau. They already have them, but they have them published in a way that makes it difficult to find out certain information.

There was one set of data that contained employment information about the types of jobs, their tax reference codes, and the number of employees in those jobs at the time the survey was taken.

Then another set had the tax reference codes, the types of jobs, and the actual salaries and wages for those jobs.

Why were they kept separate? You can draw your own conclusions, but when I combined them in a Microsoft Access Database and ran the numbers in a pivot chart, I was amazed to find a massive discrepancy of income for Sangamon County.

So now I can determine the distribution of wealth and the dominant type of employment in Sangamon County.

It was tedious, but satisfying in its own way. I'll keep practicing with Microsoft Excel and Access by compiling crime statistics from Police Beat, and employment statistics from the Classifieds of the Illinois State Journal Register.

Employment statistics like the turnaround rate of employers and types of positions. That should be very interesting indeed.
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