Do you want to be able to talk knowledgeably at fancy dinner parties with the ruling class about employment in America? Sure you do! So here are just a few simple graphs from our pals at the St. Louis Fed with a longer view—going back to either 2000 or to the early 90s, depending on data available—that explaining the trending in employment, hiring, unemployment and workforce participation in America. Above: what they call the "U6" number. That's the combined percentage of unemployed and underemployed, essentially.
It's an incredible business model to have two entwined yet separate revenue streams. First, you charge people to receive or buy your magazine-and you also sell some of the space inside your magazine to companies that would like to reach your paying readers. It's a brilliant invention! It's also a business that is strongly dependent on the companies that advertise-so when many sectors of business simultaneously fall off a cliff, they can take a magazine down with them. When times get tough, it comes down to a battle of who has the most guaranteed readers. No matter how bad the economy, you can still get the advertisers if you're still [...]
There were two trends I noticed while compiling yesterday's chart of the last two decades of newspaper circulation trends. I relied upon the New York Times for data, and one trend I found there was that, in general, over the last 16 years, reporting the actual number of newspapers circulated grew and then radically diminished. Instead, most often, the data given was year-over-year percentage changes, or other far less specific metrics. In today's paper, Richard Perez-Pena nicely reports both percentages and actual numbers for 7 papers. But back in this story from April, actual numbers are only given for one paper-the Times itself. The other trend-well, it [...]
Have you ever wondered why The Cure is used to soundtrack so many romantic comedies? Have you ever stopped to think about what that implies, that this British deep-goth turned pop-rock band hits a particular sweet spot, like the meet-cute, for this dying movie genre? A few months ago, I went to go see About Time, a middling romcom by the same writer and director of Love Actually, and when I heard "Friday I’m in Love," something in me snapped.
I couldn’t enjoy the montage. It was Rachel McAdams and a surprisingly alluring ginger man (Domhnall Gleeson) running around, changing from chic outfit to chic outfit, falling [...]
Today the New York Times published a story about its parent company: "Times Co. Posts Operating Profit Gain"! Well, that's… true. (And they mean the second quarter of this year over the second quarter of last year.) But, once again, it's historical context time! If you look back over the last five years, what you see is the newspaper radically chopping its operating costs.
The good news out of the state comptroller's office today is that Wall Street is recovering nicely. Lest we forget! "Wall Street employment accounts for 24 percent of all wages paid in New York City even though the securities industry accounts for less than 5 percent of all employment." How can we tell things are going well? Let's look at the financial industry's 2009!
Every six months, the Audit Bureau of Circulations releases data about newspapers and how many people subscribe to them. And then everyone writes a story about how some newspapers declined some amount over the year previous. Well, that's no way to look at data! It's confusing-and it obscures larger trends. So we've taken chunks of data for the major newspapers, going back to 1990, and graphed it, so you can see what's actually happened to newspaper circulation. (We excluded USA Today, because we don't care about it. If you're in a hotel? You're reading it now. That's nice.)
It is fascinating to consider the gigantic omissions mainstream media makes in recapping the past year with delicious “Best of [insert year].” These are omissions of substance, but they are not often included in the discourse of popular culture. They are experiences about losing. Losing jobs, lovers, apartments. The losers’ agency—or lack thereof—is manifested in perhaps deciding a preference to “lose,” guesstimating the long-term result will be worth the sacrifice. Of course, other times exogenous factors create a shared reality where you—and this certainly includes me—have limited power in changing one’s conditions. These are the stories about getting broken up with, getting evicted from a home and—by far the worst [...]
This graph about the work life of a "social media manager" is horse pucky. "Social media managers" don't go out to lunch—they con an acquaintance at another business into bringing over their own lunch, then they tell all their friends and enemies about how they got the lunch for free, then they live-cast themselves throwing it up later, because puking's just another word for "free viral video." But other than that, it's totally on the money. And also THE WORST. UGH. (via)
By way of eulogy to the dying animal that is the Diva, my crack team of consultants, statisticians and graphic designers have assembled DIVA-OFF 2010, a highly scientific (we used computers!) evaluation of the greatest divas of the past twenty-five years. A list of divas was evaluated on eleven levels of diva-ness, and, because each diva characteristic is not created equal, we scaled the values in the hopes of creating an aggregate diva number that will serve as a reference point for future generations.
Here is why we needed to do this. On April 14, 1998, at the Beacon Theater in New York City, VH1 put on a [...]
For the first time since no one is sure when, Goldman Sachs has altered its general formula of close to a 50/25/25 annual net revenue allocation (in which, give or take, 50% goes to the employees, 25% is (sort of) set aside for taxes and 25% is retained for the company). This year? In what is being described as a PR move, just a bit over 35% is going to bonuses. (2009's net revenue comes to $45.2 billion, so $16.2 billion is set aside for employees.) In the last ten years, the compensation rate has never dipped below 44% of net revenues.
So, the recession is over because people are "snapping up" homes, as well all know. (I mean, I SNAPPED UP two myself! Didn't you?) According to mutual-fund-haver and sometime financial columnist Whitney Tilson, graphing the national Case-Shiller Home Price Index has recent trends that show "the start of the seasonal downturn that will take house prices down another 10%-15% by the middle of next year." (The Case-Shiller, which is basically a measure of the price that the same house is sold for over time, showed a long and then fast upturn from the late 90s to 2006, followed by a slight and then dramatic drop-off. Unsurprising!) But that [...]
New unemployment numbers this morning saw 637,000 new initial jobless claims last week. The number of people collecting unemployment nationally is now at 6.56 million. Disturbing: the number of those who are "long-term" unemployed (perhaps briefly) surpassed the number of short-term unemployed. These numbers do not include those of us who are working part-time, or have given up on filing for unemployment. But what does the jobs and income situation look like in context of the last twenty years? The last twenty years of employment, through April 1, 2009, expressed as percent change year-to-year.