"For the full year of 2012, digital advertising revenues increased 0.2 percent to $214.8 million from $214.5 million in 2011. Excluding the additional week [in 2012], estimated digital advertising revenues decreased 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter and 1.9 percent for the full year of 2012." —The New York Times Company released its 2012 results this morning, if you like that kind of thing. Lots of fun stuff, like the $4.5 million cost for a "retirement and consulting agreement" for departed CEO Janet Robinson. How do you like your buyouts now, staffers?
"The prison population of England and Wales has hit a new record high of 86,608 people," thanks to several hundred young rioters being held in the system. Yup: 86,000 people are in prison out of a population of 53,390,300. Yeah… so that's .0016% of England and Wales. (The U.S. has about 2,300,000 people in prison, out of 307,006,550 people—almost five times as many, by population.)
Guess what? This means England has surpassed its tragic colony, old Prisoncrime Island, in rates of imprisonment—with all of 22 million people, Australia has only like 30,000 people in prison. (Though they're trying desperately to up their rates!)
The June unemployment numbers came out this morning and everyone is like, woof, this is horrible. The Department of Labor can't even make it look all that good in the press release: "The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by 412,000 in June. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was essentially unchanged over the month, at 6.3 million, and accounted for 44.4 percent of the unemployed." Right. The "underemployment" rate is now 16.2 percent, essentially as high as it was a year ago. 14.1 million are officially unemployed, a rate of 9.2%. And the average unemployment period is [...]
As things are currently set up, people with iPads who want to buy a magazine on their shiny device have to go searching for it. There's no magazine rack, or what have you. Still, I'm not sure you can put that sunny a face on the figures for sales of magazines on the iPad, as reported by Ad Age. Wired at least started extremely strong, at 100,000. Now they do about 30,000 an issue. Still pretty good! People is doing 10,000 an issue (and that includes free digital issues to print subscribers). Vanity Fair does about 9000 an issue. Other magazines are doing even fewer sales; many are [...]
And also in further data-crunching, this analysis of the New Yorker's fiction section. "Just 10 writers account for 82 (or 23%) of the 358 stories to appear over the last seven years. Just 18 writers account for 124 (or 35%) of the stories." That is almost okay, since there were 12 Alice Munro stories published in the last six years. (Which serves to assist in getting their lady-boy ratio up to 36.6%.)
So this new study by the Empire Center for New York State Policy is totally fascinating. Their agenda is anti-tax, so their framing for the exodus of 1.5 million New York residents from 2000 to 2008 is about tax burdens. So their point is mostly that rich people are leaving and poor foreign people are coming in. In real fact, the population of New York state grew 2.7% from 2000 to 2008; Manhattan's migration zeroed out in that time period (someone's always ready to take your apartment!), although New York City overall had 1.1 million people leave. (Is this atypical? No idea!) And also notably, departures from New York [...]
I just realized my maybe-favorite movie of the year, Knowing, is now out on DVD! This movie is like being hit on the head repeatedly with a velvet hammer of awesome/ridiculous, as it is about a girl who maps out the evil of the future. And for once, the future is now! First, is there anything more special than a Nic Cage movie? No there is not. He cares, and he does not at all care. Second: there are bunnies. Third: I am going to watch it again, TWO TIMES.
It's the post-primary, pre-convention part of the election cycle, where a poll "can find" that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are in a DEAD HEAT for the presidency of the United States! Flap your hands in a panic, Mittens could be the president! Everyone panic! Just kidding, Romney will lose quite handily, let's just flash-forward 119 days.
The IRS did an analysis of the 2009 tax year, and some interesting and not surprising things happened!
• More than 3% of households that had job income in 2007 had none in 2009.
• America's average household income fell 13.7% from 2007 to 2009.
• Two million fewer people filed tax returns from 2007 to 2009.
Goodbye! America doesn't need you.
"Magazine Shutdowns Slow Drastically" go the headlines today-or also "Magazines Are Starting To Come Back To Life." That's from a new survey that says only 87 magazines shut down in the first half of 2010, while there were a whopping 279 magazine shutdowns in the first half of 2009. (No reporter revealed this survey's sample size.) For some more history: 525 magazines closed down in all of 2008; 591 in 2007. Now, the Magazine Publishers of America, in their own just-released comparison of the first half of 2010 to 2009, only tracks 226 magazines-the big ones. And one of them is Cookie and one is [...]
I started this decade out as a 15-year-old kid, and now I'm a 25-year-old adult. I've gained 20 pounds and about 30 gray hairs. I've grown one bra size and two dress sizes. I've gained an unquantifiable amount of self-esteem.
I've lived in five cities, in twelve houses, and had 24 roommates. I've had nine paying jobs and three non-paying ones. I've written for free for seven publications, and been paid to write for two. I've had three cars, four bikes, and six pairs of running shoes. I've had seven cell phones, four iPods, five blogs, and eight email addresses. I've been in three car accidents, gotten one speeding ticket, [...]
"There are now more TV sets than people in the US. How scary is that?" The New York Post reports on a recent Nielsen study that says there are nearly 115 million TV-having homes in the US. And that each of these homes averages 2.86 TV sets: "That computes to nearly 329 million TV sets-more than the entire US population, estimated at 307 million by the US Census Bureau." This brings to mind the pleasant image of three or four television sets gathered in the living room after dinner, watching their human being. And the less pleasant image of what happens when the TVs decide to turn us off.
"Since employment peaked in September 2008, local government has lost 550,000 jobs."
—Hooray, America got its smaller government! Of those jobs, 345,000 disappeared in a year. But let's not even get into these August employment numbers, just released. Why bother? It's a long-term trend, the not-working, and that's the way they ("they"!) want it.
It should perhaps however be noted that the August report does some serious correction on the June and July reports: "The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised from +46,000 to +20,000, and the change for July was revised from +117,000 to +85,000." So yeah, strike those 58,000 jobs [...]
About.com, the content farm owned by the Times and one of the worst things on the Internet, looks like it's finally in trouble, due in large part to Google taking action against the Garbagenet. (These outfits depend on search results.) And also: advertisers realizing there are better ways to spend money than advertising against an empty void. In the second quarter of this year, About.com shed staff and now their real operating costs are $13.1 million; their operating profit is down 24% from last year, to $11.6 million. (That's less than $4 million a month.) To be fair, this is still a "real business": The About Group had [...]
The "real" unemployment number fell from 16.7% to 16.1% in January. The "actual" unemployment number went down to just 9%—even though there weren't a lot of jobs created in the month. The current number of unemployed people is now 13.9 million people. (Just FYI, Canada created 69,000 jobs in January!) People are still making sense of these job numbers. One thing that helps make sense of them is that the actual number of people in the labor force is now smaller, by half a million people. So yes! Unemployment is down! Fewer people consider themselves workers.
One person who went through some recent jobs data says that: "the average length of unemployment is always higher for the older cohort (45+) regardless of the level of education; generally the more education an individual has, the higher the average length of unemployment." But, but, but what about all those factories who were telling the Times they just can't find anyone to hire?
Well, we beat the forecast for October: we were only supposed to lose 175,000 jobs last month, and we did 190,000! Which really isn't very much. 190,000 people is the entire population of Little Rock, Arkansas (which is the 118th largest city in the United States!), or Mobile, Alabama. 190,000 is just slightly more than the entire population of Salt Lake City. Hmm. If every person that was laid off in October were a penny, it would be a stack of pennies almost a thousand feet high-as high as the tallest building in California, the US Bank Tower in Los Angeles. If everyone laid off in October were a [...]
Well. Today's New York Times announcement of 2nd quarter revenues had some weirdness! For one thing, CEO Janet Robinson & friends trumpet their 1.5% climb in circulation income, because of their raised price. Um, they raised the price three times in the last two years, including in May, the middle of this second quarter, and that last was a 33% price increase to the weekday paper. I do not believe that this 1.5% increase in newsstand and subscriber income "shows the value our newspapers provide day in, day out to our readers." I think it shows that the price raise barely offset the loss of a lot of [...]