On June 23, the United Kingdom will decide whether to leave the European Union or stay. The vote is nicknamed Brexit, short for British Exiting. One reason the debate is important outside of the U.K. is that it is partly a referendum over the amount of government regulation voters want. Continue reading
This past Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a press release stating the monthly employment figures for May 2016. The headlines following the report’s release emphasized that the U.S. economy created only 38,000 additional jobs in May 2016. This figure promptly caused the stock market to fall. The next day’s Wall Street Journal front page led with a story declaring “Weak Hiring Pushes Back Fed’s Plans” for an interest rate hike. But the true figure was much higher than 38,000 jobs.
The actual number of additional jobs created between April and May was 651,000! This much larger figure is calculated using numbers found in table B1’s top line located on the press release’s 28th page. Continue reading
June kicks off the wedding season in the U.S.! No matter whether you love or hate them, an astounding trend is happening. There are fewer weddings every year.
The number of U.S. marriage ceremonies peaked in the early 1980s. Back then there were almost 2.5 million marriages recorded each year. Since the early 1980s, however, the total number of people getting married each year has steadily fallen. Now, in the mid-2010s, only about 2 million marriages happen a year. This is a drop of almost half-a-million marriages a year since the early 1980s peak. To provide a frame of reference the reduction in weddings means more people are now injured in U.S. car crashes than getting married each year. Continue reading