Another Republican in the U.S. House — Speaker Paul Ryan, no less — announced his intention not to seek re-election in 2018, adding to the number of members leaving ahead of what’s expected to be an unfavorable mid-term environment for the party.
Even before Ryan’s announcement, HuffPost reported that the number of GOP congressmen leaving the chamber, either for retirement or other offices, has hit numbers not seen in decades. His exit is likely to increase that number soon.
This chart shows how the GOP members’ announcements over this cycle have cumulative outpaced their Democratic counterparts:
And here’s a breakdown of retirements, by party, over the years:
HuffPost is out with an interesting poll about the the public’s trust in the FBI, which has been under attack recently for its role in the investigations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Trump and his supporters have been particularly tough on the bureau, and it shows in the polling data.
A slim 51 percent majority of the public say they have at least a fair amount of trust in the FBI, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, down 12 points since 2015. Most of that change comes from Republicans and independents, among whom the percentage saying they trust the agency dropped by 22 points and 15 points, respectively. Allies of the White House have spent much of January ramping up their attacks against the FBI’s Russia investigation.
I’m in the United States this week to attend the annual news nerd conference known as NICAR, a diverse gathering of reporters, editors and developers (and others) focused on storytelling with data.
I look forward to it like Christmas.
I get to return to the United States, see old friends, learn new skills and drink Diet Coke, which is nearly impossible to find in South Korea, where I work as a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.
These basic graphics help explain the event, held this year in Chicago.
First, there’s record-breaking attendance* this year:
The event has more than 200 sessions over five days, from the basic use of spreadsheets in news gathering to the construction of complex news applications — and the organizers (who graciously share data about the conference) categorized them by type:
The conference generally has a mix of skills sets and expertise levels, which is evident in the session categories:
There are people here from almost every American state and from numerous countries around the world. My jet lag brain is still working through how to best visualize that, perhaps in a map. I’ll post something soon.
The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits hasn’t been this low since Richard Nixon was president, according to new data from the U.S. Labor Department.
The figures suggest a tight labor market in which employers are retaining employees because there aren’t as many available qualified workers, Bloomberg reported:
Overall, the employment picture remains solid, with payrolls continuing to increase and the unemployment rate at the lowest since late 2000. Job growth will help sustain consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy.
Here’s a remix of Bloomberg’s chart, which game me an excuse to finally deploy something with “swoopy” annotation (thanks, Adam!):
I wrote this week about the one-year anniversary of China’s economic retaliation against South Korea over the THAAD missile system, a defensive weapon designed to stop North Korea’s medium-range missiles.
China objects to it and has been flexing its economic muscle in protest, carrying out an aggressive campaign of economic retaliation that includes sending fewer tourists. In 2017, just over 4 million Chinese visited South Korea, down from roughly 8 million a year earlier after several years of steady growth.
These charts show the effect on the South Korean tourism industry, which has grown to depend heavily on China. This first example helps show China’s increasing share among all tourists who visit South Korea. In 2016, for example, nearly half of all visitors were Chinese — way up from a decade ago:
This chart reflects the annual total visitors by Chinese since 2000. Until last year, annual growth had average nearly 30%, even with the 2015 MERS outbreak in South Korea, which caused hundreds of thousands — likely millions — of Chinese to stay away. You can see how the figure dropped dramatically in 2017:
And, finally, we look at the monthly data, which spikes during peak summer months. The effect of MERS is again evident, as is the significant drop in tourists after the Chinese implemented travel restrictions last March:
More than 2,900 athletes from 92 nations and territories are competing in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The event has 15 different sports (and many events within each). Which sports have the most athletes? Hockey, which requires a 23-person roster, leads the list, followed by largely individual sports, such as alpine and cross-country skiing:
Here’s how those sports break down by the number of competing countries. Again, alpine skiing is a main draw:
Here’s a breakdown of participation in each sport by gender:
And, finally, a look at how each continent is represented proportionally by sport:
President Trump was right last month when he bragged that black unemployment rate was at a historical low. The rate in December was 6.8 percent, the lowest it’s been since 1972 (though it ticked back up nearly a percentage point last month).
But the president’s statement excluded some important context about the historic movement of this rate by race and ethnicity. I’ve tried to explain in these graphics.
First, here are four rates — all groups, black, Hispanic and white — since Ronald Reagan was in office. The early 1980s, as you can see, were pretty rough. Things have gotten better, both in terms of the rate during recessions and recoveries, and all groups have improved together as a pattern since the Great Recession:
Whether you believe a president can have any short-term effect on unemployment or not, a key point is that these rates rise and fall together. They are quite strongly correlated. In about 90 percent of the months since 1980, for example, a relationship existed between movement in the white and black rates. This correlation is slightly less strong under Democratic presidents, for whatever reason:
Even though the black rate is relatively low today, it has historically been about 2-2.5 times higher than the white rate.
Image courtesy Wikimedia/U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
Years after a global crisis, the world’s largest economies are again growing, The New York Timesreported over the weekend.
Every major economy on earth is expanding at once, a synchronous wave of growth that is creating jobs, lifting fortunes and tempering fears of popular discontent.
A tweet on the subject prompted a friend to respond with a question about whether income inequality has grown — and that in turn prompted a quick exploration of data provided by the World Bank.
One of its many indicators is the GINI index, which measures income distribution by country and creates a score. A 0 score means absolute equality, and 100 represents absolute inequality.
These data, based on country-by-country surveys, are imperfect and incomplete, with most countries missing several years of data. The United States, for example, had only five annual estimates in the last two decades. South Korea, where I live now, had only four. Strangely, a few smaller countries had more complete data. Honduras had all but one year, for example.
Given these limits, I focused on the top-25 economies, some of which were missing scores. In these cases, I carried over the most-recent data to maintain a consistent, if imprecise, trend line.
The data are interesting in some cases. Here are the countries, listed in order of their gross national product rankings: