Tag: Matt Johnson

Has the number of business establishments in Minneapolis increased since 2006?

Analyzing data always provides interesting insights. For example, a simple analysis of establishment (business) data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) reveals some fascinating insights into the systems dynamics – a system changing over time – of the Minneapolis marketplace with respect to business firms.

As the data, Graph 1, reveals, the number of establishments, or businesses, in Minneapolis has been decreasing for at least the past 10 years. Why is this so? This blog will not venture into such speculation. This is because the system’s perspective is limited to only establishment data. A multivariate perspective (multiple perspectives) is needed to find such possible reasons.

 

Graph 1

As Graph 1 illustrates, the number of firms per quarter has been decreasing since at least 2006. And although this rate has been variable, which is to be expected because the marketplace is probabilistic, the overall trend has been negative.

Furthermore, this overall negative trend can be shown in a couple of different ways. First, it can be illustrated via linearization. As Graph 2 shows, the overall trend is negative. That is, the Minneapolis marketplace decreased in the total number of establishments between the 1st Quarter of 2006 and the 3rd Quarter of 2016.

Graph 2

It should be noted that the linearization seen here is not the same linearization as in dynamical systems. In dynamical systems, linearization is an approximation “to a function at a given point.” Obviously this is not the case here.

Again, the main idea to take away from linearization, in the way it is used here, is the overall trend of the graph – did the marketplace gain businesses over the period stated in Graph 2, did the marketplace lose businesses over the period stated in Graph 2, or did the marketplace remain about the same over the period stated in Graph 2?

And finally, the marketplace behavior of business establishments in Minneapolis can be illustrated through Vector Algebra. Yes! That’s right – Vector Algebra. In this case, there will be no math included, just an illustration of direction via Graph 3, so there is no reason to be alarmed.

Graph 3

As Graph 3 shows, the overall dynamics, or vector, of the marketplace is negative in regards to the number of establishments from the 1st Quarter of 2006 through the 3rd Quarter of 2016. And the vectors, those letter “a’s” with the hats over them, further illustrate a greater decrease in total establishment between the 1st Quarter of 2006 and the 3rd Quarter of 2010 than between the 3rd Quarter of 2010 and the 3rd Quarter of 2016.

Of course, these vectors could further be broken into smaller vectors. But the way the algebra works, each vector that is computed in this system should add up to the overall vector, which is negative. Thus, this decomposition of the system behavior provides a more conclusive way of viewing the dynamics of this particular system than how linearization is being used here. And the vector idea, along with the math, supports the initial observation. That is, the total number of establishments in the Minneapolis marketplace has decreased since at least the 1st Quarter of 2006.

So how does this market behavior compare to the county or state level? How does Minneapolis compare to the zip codes that reside within it?

And another interesting question to ask one’s self is, has employment increased, decreased, or stayed the same in Minneapolis? And what does this mean for the number of employees per establishment?

 

Matt Johnson is a writer for the Urban Dynamics blog; and is a mathematical scientist. He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on LinkedIn or Facebook

Photo credit: The Systems Scientist

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright ©2017 – The Systems Scientist

 

Minnesota: Making distinctions between labor forces in the state system

By Matt Johnson

Diagram 1

Making distinctions between different levels of a system is an important first step to thinking about systems in a systematic way. But how can this be accomplished?

This can be accomplished by utilizing Diagram 1 as a visual aide. As Diagram 1 illustrates, the United States is the primary system, or general system, whereas the Region, Division, State, County, City, Zip Code, Census Track, and Block Group are all sub-systems of the United States.

And in this blog, distinctions will be made between the labor forces in the Minnesota system, the Hennepin County System, and Minneapolis system. Making these distinctions will help partition out where these respective systems reside in the grand scheme of things, and how their respective labor forces differentiate from each other. But first, two terms will be defined: labor force and system.

What is a labor force?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a labor force is a population of workers who are either working in the marketplace or who are actively looking for work in the marketplace.

Indeed, we should note a labor force does not account for those persons not participating in the marketplace. The point here is we will be looking at those citizens who are actively engaged in the marketplace via the Minnesota labor force, the Hennepin County labor force, and the Minneapolis labor force.

What is a system?

The simplest definition contains three parts, or three conditions: a system contains elements, these elements interact, and a function is produced from this interaction. These elements could be a small group of elements or a large group of elements. Of course how elements exist in the system is either observable or unobservable (we will not address the unobservable or uncountable in this blog).

This means a person could observe nine baseball players in dark-blue jerseys on a baseball diamond. These baseball players would then be the elements of the system. Furthermore, these nine baseball players in dark-blue jerseys would be interacting with each other, while out in the field or while hitting, throughout the nine innings of the game. And the interactions in this small system would produce an outcome for the baseball team in dark-blue jerseys (possible outcomes produced would be a win or a loss).

For purposes of this blog, we will assume these three conditions are satisfied.

The Labor Force

To recall, we will focus on three levels of the nine-level system presented in Diagram 1: state, county, and city. Before proceeding, we should note that the systems levels of metro area, district/ward, and neighborhood were not included in Diagram 1 for brevity (those levels of the system will be examined in future blogs).

First, and moving forward, what kind of systems behavior should we see in the state labor force? That is, should we see positive, negative, or no growth since 2006?

Graph 1

As we can see, the labor force of Minnesota has been trending upwards since at least the 1st Quarter of 2006. Indeed, we also see that the market has fluctuated quite a few times, but it’s important that we understand that this fluctuation is normal behavior for a stochastic (probabilistic) system such as a labor force. So when we say the labor force of Minnesota has been trending upwards since at least the 1st Quarter of 2006, we are saying the overall behavior of the system has been positive.

Second, what kind of systems behavior should we see in the county labor force? That is, should we see positive, negative, or no growth since 2006?

Graph 2

Much like the Minnesota labor force, we can see in Graph 2 that the Hennepin County labor force has been trending upwards since 2006 as well. Sure! It to has fluctuated throughout, but again, that’s to be expected in a probabilistic system such as a marketplace.

Third, what kind of systems behavior should we see in the city labor force? That is, should we see positive, negative, or no growth since 2006?

Graph 3

In the observations of the three levels of the Minnesota system, we see that the Minneapolis labor force has been trending upwards since 2006 as well. Again, we observe peaks and valleys in the data, but the overall behavior has been positive. Thus we have seen positive growth over a ten-year period at the state, county, and city levels of the system, and making these distinctions has enlightened us by delving a bit deeper into the economic system of Minnesota.

Here are some questions we might want to ask ourselves. Would we continue to see this positive labor force growth over the past 10 years if we examined various zip codes in Minneapolis? By making distinctions and partitioning out say the 55411 and the 5549, would we see similar growth in both zip codes, for example? Would we see this same positive behavior if we examined various Minneapolis neighborhoods like Seward, Fulton, or Jordan, or would we see differences? And finally, would we see this same positive behavior if we examined various areas – a census track or block group – located inside various Minneapolis neighborhoods?

 

Matt Johnson is a writer for the Urban Dynamics blog; and is a mathematical scientist. He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Facebook

Photo credit: Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright ©2017 – The Systems Scientist

Episode II: Math Jedi Matt Joins Black Jedi Don and Jamar on the BRBD Show

By TSS Admin

This Saturday evening, March 11th, at 6 pm central standard time on Twin Cities News Talk, Matt Johnson, our Editor-in-chief and mathematician, will be making his second guest apprearance on the Black Republican/Black Democrat show (BRBD).

Here’s the link to Matt’s first appearance on BRBD:

He will be joining co-hosts Donald Allen (R) and Jamar Nelson (D), and roving reporter Preya Samsundar from Alpha News, on the Black Jedi Radio Network to discuss Minneapolis economics and politics, why the presidential election polls and forecasts weren’t wrong, and Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and Tucker Carlson’s now infamous climate change exchange. This is sure to be a light-saber blazing event with a large audience.

Speaking of a large audience, the Black Republican/Black Democrat show has blown up on social media since Matt’s last visit on February 11th of this year. During Matt’s first visit, BRBD had 1,535 followers on their Facebook page. Since then, the Black Jedi Radio Network has gained nearly 5,000 followers; and so this time around, the Math Jedi Matt Johnson will have a much larger audience to share the gospel of mathematics with, while dueling with republicans and democrats.

Where can you listen?

For our Twin Cities’ readers, just simply turn the terrestrial dial to AM 1130 or FM 103.5. For our national readers, just download the iHeartRadio app or you can listen LIVE via the world-wide web by going to www.TwinCitiesNewsTalk.com, which is an iHeartRadio station. For our readers who would like to call into the show, dial (612) 986 – 0010.

We’ll see you Saturday night!

 

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Chicagoland: 2017 homicide rate on track to match 2016 homicide rate

By Matt Johnson

There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the high number of homicides happening in Chicagoland. The midwestern city is on track to match its 2016 homicide total.

At the end of February 2016, Chicago had experienced 103 homicides. That was an increase of more than 96 percent from the year before. Matter of fact, there were a total of 52 homicides in January and February of 2015. In contrast, both 2016 and 2017 doubled 2015 numbers two years in a row.

In 2017, there were 55 homicides in January and 48 homicides in February according to the Chicago Tribune. Comparing 2017 to 2016, January saw a 3.6 percent decrease, which appeared promising. However, February made up for the decrease in homicides with a 6.7 percent increase. This bump in an otherwise traditionally quiet month for adverse socio-economic factors pushed Chicago back into the direction it desperately didn’t need to go.

2016-chicago-homicides-dwm

In addition, it should be noted that the majority of these homicides are concentrated in the same few neighborhoods year after year. Thus, homicides along with other adverse socio-economic factors are not an acute issue. They are chronic and the science and mathematics are clear on this point.

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In 2016, 4 of the 5 neighborhoods with the highest numbers of homicides were located on Chicago’s West Side.

top-5-homicide-neighborhoods-of-2016-dwm

And now in 2017, the West Side neighborhoods of Austin, Englewood, and Garfield Park are the top 3 deadliest neighborhoods in Chicago so far this year, and one ought to expect this unfortunate reality to continue because of historical data and trends. Again, there are adverse socio-economic factors that have not been addressed. 

As of this moment, and although these numbers could change in the next 24 hours, Austin has experienced 14 homicides, Garfield Park has experienced 10 homicides, and Englewood has experienced 8 homicides according to heyjackass.com (again, they provide reliable statistics and sources). North Lawndale has had 5 homicides so far this year.

If this homicide rate continues for the remainder of the year, then it is likely that Chicago will see another 785 to 800 homicides this year.

 

Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist and the Urban Dynamics blog . He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

He has a Bachelor of Science, Systems Science with focuses in applied mathematics and economic systems; and he is a member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the International Society for the Systems Sciences.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook.

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Copyright ©2017 – The Systems Scientist

Radio Jedi co-hosts Donald and Jamar invite TSS’s Matt Johnson onto the BRBD Show

By TSS Admin

brbd-v1Our very own Editor-in-chief, and research scientist, Matt Johnson will be making his radio debut as a guest on the Black Republican Black Democrat Show this Saturday, February 11th, at 6 pm on Twin Cities News Talk in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He will join radio Jedi co-hosts Donald Allen (R) and Jamar Nelson (D) for the 6 to 7 pm central time hour. Together, they will take a closer look at the socio-economic data – crime, employment, housing, etc. – for Minneapolis, and other American cities. They will be delving into Matt’s “Number Shrewdness” to get the real scoop on the urban numbers that are not always presented in a truthful light.

What’s going on in Chicago and other cities? Why is there such disparity in economic wealth between racial groups? What might be done to address such issues? These are just a few of the questions that may be addressed during this Saturday’s show.

Where do you listen?

For our Twin Cities’ readers, just simply turn the terrestrial dial to AM 1130 or FM 103.5. For our national readers, just simply download the iHeartRadio app or you can listen LIVE via the world-wide web by going to www.TwinCitiesNewsTalk.com, which is an iHeartRadio station.

 

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TSS: 2016 Year in Review

TSS Admin

2016 was a year of growth and transition for us, and what a year it was. But it would not have been possible without the support of our readers and followes – You.

We will continue to be a source of free thought and ideas. We don’t hold to any agendas or political leanings. We are not beholden to corporations, political parties, or elites. Our views here at The Systems Scientist, we also go by TSSNewsMag, are as diverse as humanity and we like that!

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We report and write on a wide range of topics (systems) from science, politics, policy, economics, space science, and everything in between. We do this because we believe that all of these (systems) topics are interconnected to one another.

Media has for far to long tried to separate these things as a way to drive up ratings or use it to cause division amongst the people. This is a misuse of data and resources which we at TSSNewsMag have made a promise to done our best not to do.

I think this quote sums up what we do here at TSSNewsMag:

We give you the facts. I told you information is power – knowledge is power. We can’t be in an ideological battle to redeem the soul of this country if we don’t have the facts. – Tavis Smiley

Once again thank you to all our readers and suppoters for a great 2016 and we look forward to a greater 2017!

Please help us grow and become more of a presence on social media by following and liking The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook Donating to TSS

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Copyright ©2016 – The Systems Scientist

Shootings happen in Minneapolis?

By Matt Johnson

 

My research involves systems behaviors. What do I mean by this? What I mean is systems behave in very interesting ways. But perhaps I should explain what I mean by “system” first.

In theory, a system is comprised of elements. In the case of cities, this would include residents, businesses, non-profits, other organizations, and of course local government. And this is not an exhaustive list. These elements, that I previously mentioned, interact with each other all day long and every day. Yes! This happens all the time.

2016-12-19Now perhaps you view this as being impossible but think about it this way. You interact with the usual people you interact with every day, correct? But do you see everyone else not in your immediate vicinity? No! Of course you don’t. But to be fair, this isn’t probably something you think about much anyway. While you’re sitting at your desk from 9 to 5, there is an entire world inside your city taking place, including both positive and negative experiences.

In the case of Minneapolis, you can observe that these negative experiences are happening in the form of shootings on the north side of the city. And if you are familiar with this blog and my research, you know that North Minneapolis has been a focus of my research.

For example, the area where these adverse events are happening in the form of shootings, sounds of shots fired, and shotspotter activation is an area that already suffers from the highest unemployment rates in the city. This area also suffers from the greatest concentration of foreclosures and condemned and vacant buildings, and the lowest education levels. Politically, this is the 5th Ward of Minneapolis.

 

Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist and the Urban Dynamics blog; and is a mathematical scientist. He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook as well. 

 

 

 

Copyright ©2016 – The Systems Scientist