Economy & Finance

16 posts
America Imports Lots of Stuff from China, Including Christmas Decorations

Last year, the United States imported more than $460 billion in goods — clothes, toys, gadgets, you name it — from China. Of course, our Christmas decorations were on that list, too. Some $2.2 billion in fake trees, miniature lights and assorted ornaments came from the Middle Kingdom last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s detailed trade database. The Christmas trade in ornaments is big business. It skyrocketed in the...

0 0
Visualizing South Korea’s Assailed Trade Relationship With The U.S.

President Trump isn’t happy with the United States’ bilateral trade agreement with South Korea. His main concern, it seems, is that the United States has suffered a “trade deficit”. That means South Korea — a key ally in East Asia on security issues, not just trade — has been exporting more goods to the United States than it has been importing. In 2016, this deficit was about $23.2 billion. That’s a...

0 0
Four Decades of State Unemployment Rates, in Small Multiples, Part 2

I posted recently about how the state-by-state unemployment rate has changed during my lifetime. The result was a small multiples grid that put the states in context with one another. Today I’ve created a new version aimed at identifying more precisely how each state has differed from the national unemployment rate during the last four decades. The lines show the percentage point difference — above (worst) or below (better) — from...

0 0
Four Decades of State Unemployment Rates, in Small Multiples

There’s good news this week in the monthly jobs report, the latest sign that the economy, however grudgingly, has healed from the financial crisis nine years ago: The unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, the Labor Department said, from 4.9 percent. The last time it was this low was August 2007. That was the month, you may recall, when global money markets first froze up because of losses on United...

0 0
New Poverty Data Show Improving Economic Conditions in States

Economic conditions continue to improve in America’s states, with many showing significant declines in their poverty rates, according to new survey data released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau. About 14.7 percent of the American population had incomes last year that were below their respective poverty levels, which vary depending on household size — a significant decline from 2014. Data in the states reflect that improvement. First, here’s how the...

0 0
Charting Billions Of (Endangered?) $100 Bills

The ubiquitous $100 currency note — the Bill, the C-Note, the Benjamin — might be ready to cash out, at least if a group of influential economists have their way. In a recent paper, scholars at Harvard University argue that the elimination of the $100 bill, along with other high-value currency notes around the world, could reduce corruption and restrict criminal enterprises. Their findings even prompted a former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Lawrence...

0 0