BALLE Overview Calculator
The Overview Calculator shows, sector by sector, whether your economy is a relative importer or exporter. It is based on the US Census Bureau's inventory of businesses with employees. All businesses are indexed in 1,100 NAICS categories of industries (NAICS stands for the North American Industrial Classification System). The estimates exclude public employees, farmers, and self-employed individuals.
Keep in mind that the leakage number returned understates opportunities for import replacement. If a community imports and exports exactly the same amount of a given commodity or service, there will be no apparent "leakage" whatsoever--even though the possibility of meeting local consumption by doubling local production exists. Nevertheless, the tool is remarkably accurate in showing the strengths and weaknesses of a local economy.
To prepare your community's profile, you'll first need to make three choices:
- Geographic Area -- Define the community or regional economy whose leakage you're measuring. You can enter a state, a county, or a zip code.
- NAICS Details -- Decide how much detail you want. If you want all 1,100 categories, you should choose "6 digits" NAICS codes. It's usually best, however, to start with 2 digits to get a broad sense of your economy first.
- Leakage Details -- Define which of three kinds of information you want about your leakages: The percentage of self-reliance in a category? The number of new jobs possible from plugging the leak? The additional earnings from these jobs? If you want, you can get all three.
Learn more about data sources and methodology behind the Overview Calculator.
Please let us know about your experiences and report any problems by contacting us directly.