About the Measuring Distress Tool

The IBRC at Indiana University’s Kelley School of business developed the Measuring Distress tool 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. When applying for EDA grants, for example, one must go to various websites, copy and paste or download the data, organize it, and then figure out how 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 data for the unemployment rate monthly from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS),  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).

The IBRC worked closely with professionals at the EDA and grant applicants to design a purpose-built tool from its national database of county, city and tract data for economic development. The IBRC maintains the tool with the latest unemployment rate and income data.

The Development Team

  • Michael Hollingsworth
  • Carol Rogers

The Database Team

  • Bethany Holliday
  • Vickie Nelson
  • Brittany Hotchkiss