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05.05.2021 Newsletter US Department of Commerce

5 May 2021 Wednesday

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo on Q1 2021 GDP Advance Estimate
Today, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the advance estimate for gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2021, finding that real gross domestic product increased at a 6.4-percent annual rate. Personal consumption expenditures increased by a robust 10.7-percent annual rate, while business investment in equipment and intellectual property products continued to grow steadily.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo issued the following statement in response:
"Today’s GDP report is encouraging. President Biden took swift, decisive action in his first 100 days to vaccinate Americans, deliver relief to families and businesses, and set the stage for a sustainable economic expansion for all Americans.
The President entered office with a plan to Build Back Better, and as he said last night, America is moving forward, but we can’t stop now. A simple bounce-back is not sufficient. We need the strategic investments included in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan to not only return to where we were prior to the pandemic, but to build our country and our economy back better. We need big, bold actions that invest in our families, our workforce, and our infrastructure that position America to out-compete on the global stage for decades to come."
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo Joins Senator Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire to Discuss Importance of Rebuilding Travel and Tourism Industry and Strengthening Manufacturing through the American Jobs Plan
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo joined New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen yesterday in Hampton, New Hampshire to meet with local travel and tourism business leaders on the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses and how the American Rescue Plan (ARP) is helping economic recovery efforts. Following the tourism roundtable, Secretary Raimondo and Senator Shaheen toured AeroDynamics manufacturing facility in Seabrook and discussed the importance of the American Jobs Plan in helping to strengthen domestic manufacturing.
During the roundtable discussion, Secretary Raimondo stated that the travel and tourism industry is vital to America’s economic recovery and that the Biden Administration is working round-the-clock to provide economic recovery assistance. With the passage of the historic American Rescue Plan, the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will allocate $750 million to help communities who have suffered job losses in the travel, tourism, or outdoor recreation sectors.
“As the former Governor of Rhode Island, I understand the importance of travel and tourism to New England’s economy and was honored to join Senator Shaheen to hear from local business leaders first-hand about how COVID-19 has impacted this critical industry in New Hampshire,” said Secretary Raimondo. "Thanks to the passage of the American Rescue Plan, the Commerce Department is allocating $750 million to help the travel and tourism industry. I applaud Senator Shaheen for her work to build New Hampshire’s economy back better, stronger, and more equitably from the pandemic.”
“I’m so glad Secretary Raimondo chose New Hampshire for her first trip as head of the U.S. Department of Commerce,” said Senator Shaheen. “Yesterday, she heard firsthand from Granite Staters what they have experienced on the ground during the COVID-19 pandemic and what they want to see in an infrastructure plan that invests in our communities and industries, fixes our aging infrastructure, promotes economic growth and creates new jobs. As our roundtable discussion in Hampton highlighted, the American Jobs Plan is a bold opportunity to deliver on priorities that are critical to the Seacoast and all of New Hampshire, such as repairing our roads, ports and waterways, addressing our drinking water infrastructure and expanding access to high-speed internet. I look forward to working with Secretary Raimondo, the Biden administration and Senators on both sides of the aisle to meet the vital infrastructure needs of our nation."
Secretary Raimondo and Senator Shaheen later visited Aerodynamics, Inc, a small women-owned manufacturing business located in Seaport that is focused on metal finishing and plating primarily serving the aerospace and defense industry. AeroDynamics is part of the Commerce Department’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which enhances the productivity and technological performance of U.S. manufacturing across all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Through additional CARES Act funding, the New Hampshire MEP was able to assist AeroDynamics with training and technical assistance which not only allowed them to not only stay afloat during the pandemic, but to grow the company.
“Investing in domestic manufacturing is critical to American competitiveness and creating good-paying jobs,” said Secretary Raimondo. “I’m proud of the Commerce Department’s Manufacturing Extension Program in supporting local manufacturing businesses like AeroDynamics, which are essential to growing local economies, creating jobs and strengthening our supply chains. With the American Jobs Plan, we have an opportunity to scale programs like MEP to help American manufacturers thrive.”
“If we are to revitalize our infrastructure, investing in our local manufacturers and American workers must be a top priority,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit AeroDynamics with Secretary Raimondo to highlight the importance of empowering women-owned businesses and providing our local small and medium-sized manufacturers with the support and tools they need to stay competitive in a 21st Century economy. I also appreciated hearing more about the important work the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Program does in support of Granite State manufacturers, which is why I worked to boost funding for this important program in the Senate. I’ll continue to prioritize policies like the American Jobs Plan that respond to the needs of our manufacturers and help them achieve further success.”
Investing in domestic manufacturing is critical to U.S. competitiveness and creating good-paying, higher wage jobs. It is also essential to economic and national security. Through the American Jobs Plan, President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $50 billion dedicated to monitoring domestic industrial capacity and funding investments to support production of critical goods and ensure that are produced in the U.S. The American Jobs Plan also proposes strategic investments in job and skill training to ensure the U.S. workforce can fill the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Despite Pandemic Challenges, 2020 Election Had Largest Increase in Voting Between Presidential Elections on Record
Despite unique challenges to voter registration and voting created by COVID-19 and heightened concerns about turnout as a result, the 2020 election had the highest voter turnout of the 21st century.
The 2020 election featured the largest increase in voters between two presidential elections on record with 17 million more people voting than in 2016.
In 2020, 67% of all citizens age 18 and older reported voting, up 5 percentage points from 2016 (Figure 1).
Only citizens — U.S.-born or naturalized — age 18 or older are eligible to vote.
In addition, 73% of all voting-age citizens were registered to vote, 2 percentage points higher than in 2016.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not prevent Americans from registering and voting at relatively high rates. Only 2% of citizens 18 and older who did not register to vote reported not registering because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and only 4% of registered nonvoters reported not voting due to such concerns.
Many voters used alternative voting methods and there was a large shift to early voting and voting by mail.
These statistics come from new data released today from the Current Population Survey's November 2020 Voting and Registration Supplement. This supplement asked noninstitutionalized civilians about their voting and registration behavior in the 2020 presidential election.
Due to the nature of survey responses, these estimates may differ from administrative reports and estimates from other data sources. However, this supplement provides a unique look at the characteristics of American voters.
Higher Turnout Across All Race Groups
Turnout rates in 2020 were higher than in the 2016 election for non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic race and origin groups.
The largest increase was for non-Hispanic Asians (Figure 2). Of the non-Hispanic Asian population who were both citizens and of voting age, 59% reported voting in 2020, compared to 49% in 2016.
Non-Hispanic Asian registration saw a large increase as well: 64%, compared to 56% in 2016. The 2020 election also featured higher turnout rates for:
  • Non-Hispanic Whites: 71% voter turnout, compared to 65% in 2016.
  • Hispanics: 54%, compared to 48% in 2016.
  • Non-Hispanic Blacks: 63%, compared to 60% in 2016. While voter turnout in this group was higher than in 2016, it did not exceed turnout in 2008 (65%).
In previous elections, non-Hispanic Black voter turnout far exceeded non-Hispanic Asian turnout by 18 percentage points in 2008 and by 20 points in 2012.
In contrast, non-Hispanic Black voter turnout in 2020 was only 3 percentage points higher than non-Hispanic Asian turnout.
Turnout by Sex and Age
In 2020, 68% of women eligible to vote reported voting — higher than the 65% turnout for men.
In the 2016 election, 63% of women and 59% of men reported voting.
Voting rates were higher in 2020 than in 2016 across all age groups, with turnout by voters ages 18-34 increasing the most between elections:
  • For citizens ages 18-34, 57% voted in 2020, up from 49% in 2016.
  • In the 35-64 age group, turnout was 69%, compared to 65% in 2016.
  • In the 65 and older group, 74% voted in 2020, compared to 71% in 2016.
Population Shifts and Turnout
Changes in the nation’s population makeup also play a role in voter turnout.
Take for example, the non-Hispanic White alone population, a group that tends to vote at a higher rate than other groups.
The share of the citizen voting-age population that is non-Hispanic White declined from 69% in 2016 to 67% in 2020 (Figure 3). At the same time, the non-Hispanic White share of voters declined as well, from 73% in 2016 to 71% four years later.
Still, their voter turnout rate exceeded their share of the voting population: non-Hispanic Whites were 71% of voters but only 67% of citizens 18 and older.
For the first time, Hispanic voters surpassed the 10% mark in a presidential election. In 2020, they made up 11% of the total turnout, close to the non-Hispanic Black share of 12%.
As the U.S. population ages, the share of older voters is also growing (Figure 4). People over the age of 65 made up 23% of the citizen voting-age population in 2020, up from 21% in 2016. They now make up 26% of all voters, up from 24% in the previous presidential election.
The population is diversifying and getting older but also more educated (Figure 5).
People with a bachelor’s degree or higher were 32% of the citizen voting-age population in 2016 and 35% in 2020. Their share of the voting population went from 40% to 41% during that time.
In contrast, the share of citizens 18 and older with less than a bachelor’s degree went down from 68% in 2016 to 65% in 2020. Their share of voters went from 60% to 59% during the same period but still remained the largest voting bloc.
Voter turnout for both groups increased in 2020. However, turnout for voters with less than a bachelor’s degree increased at a higher rate: 60% in 2020 compared to 54% in 2016. Among voters with a bachelor’s degree or more, turnout in 2020 was 80%, up from 76% in 2016.
These changes to turnout and demographics are some of the unique aspects of a presidential election that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, was ultimately a high turnout election.
Jacob Fabina is an economist in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division.
Historical Apportionment Data Map
This interactive tool enables users to view more than 10 decades of apportionment and population data.

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