About the Distress Tool

The Measuring Distress tool was developed to aid with application and selection of federal grants, and it includes the ability to create reports for regions and neighborhoods.

As many grant applicants know, it isn’t always easy to get the numbers needed. In the case of applying for EDA grants as an example, one must go to various web sites and multiple sections of those web sites, copy and paste or download the data, organize it and then figure out the formulas to use to calculate the right measures. And what if you need to have those measures (24-month unemployment rate and per capita income) for a region—not just a single county or single city or single census tract? That takes even more work.

This tool gets the user to the answer quickly AND with the ability to add together counties or census tracts to create the region of focus for the grant. We obtain the data monthly from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the LAUS labor force data from which the unemployment rate is calculated and annually from the U.S. Census Bureau (per capita income from the American Community Survey or the Decennial Census) and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (per capita personal income estimates).

Working closely with professionals in the EDA and grant applicants, the tool was designed to serve a purpose. It was designed to be kept constantly current with the latest county unemployment rate and income data. It is kept current by a staff of professionals at the IBRC at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, a group that has built a national database of county, city and tract data for use in economic development.

The Development Team

  • Dr. Jerry Conover
  • Mr. Michael Hollingsworth
  • Ms. Carol Rogers

The Database Team

  • Ms. Bethany Holliday
  • Ms. Vickie Nelson