Skip navigation

Data Is Plural

Labor Turnover, Biodiversity Trends, Working Artists, and Atari Emails

This week’s roundup of notable data

Illustration of an open envelope, with arrows coming out from within. The arrows are pointing to various spreadsheets. Behind the spreadsheets are data visualizations, clouds and strings of numbers.
Gabriel Hongsdusit

Data Is Plural is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. This edition, dated Sept. 21, 2022, has been republished with permission of the author.

Labor turnover. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey estimates the number of jobs that people quit, how many people were fired or laid off, the number of new hires, and the current number of open positions. Those estimates, based on data gathered from a sample of businesses across the country, are available to download and query by state, industry, and business size. They include most types of workers, regardless of whether they’re full time or part time, permanent or seasonal, salaried or hourly.

Biodiversity trends. Maria Dornelas et al.’s BioTIME project has collected and standardized data from hundreds of studies examining ecological communities over time. You can browse and search the studies by year, taxa, species, and biome. You can also download the full dataset, which provides information about each study (biome, start/end years, number of species tallied, and much more) and each sample collected (date, location, species, abundance, and biomass). As seen in: “Economic Production and Biodiversity in the United States,” by Yuanning Liang et al.

Probabilistic predictions. Metaculus is a forecasting platform whose community has registered more than one million predictions on questions such as “Will a major nuclear power plant in Germany be operational on June 1, 2023?” The website’s API provides data on questions posed, user rankings, and other aspects of the platform. For each question, you can see its phrasing, date posed, creator, prediction type, the distribution of predictions, and more. Related: Zoltar, a forecast archive assembled by Nicholas G. Reich et al. Previously: FiveThirtyEight’s assessment of its own predictions (DIP 2019.04.10).

Working artists. The National Endowment for the Arts regularly produces statistical profiles of the arts in the United States. The latest, “Artists in the Workforce: National and State Estimates for 2015–2019,” is tabulated from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. It provides employment and earning estimates by artistic occupation and demographic. Additional tabulations, including for the country’s 25 largest metro areas, are available through the National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture. [h/t Gary Price]

Atari emails. A couple of decades ago, Jed Margolin posted a cache of electronic mail messages from his time as a video game hardware engineer at Atari (and Atari Games, a successor company). In 2017, with Margolin’s permission, Vikram Oberoi scraped the 4,000-plus emails and built atariemailarchive.org, which groups the messages into threads, categories, and a list of favorites. The project also includes a database file containing each message’s sender, recipients, timestamp, subject, body, and Oberoi’s thread grouping. Related: “How I made atariemailarchive.org.”


Notice: Unlike most of our content, this edition of Data Is Plural by Jeremy Singer-Vine is not available for republication under a Creative Commons license.

How did we do that? It was thanks to you.

Reader support is an essential piece of The Markup equation. Your gift lets us report the stories that help to build a better future. Give today.

Donate Now