Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Time Spent with Facebook Still Growing, but Not by Much

From eMarketer

This year, Americans will spend more than half of their social networking time on Facebook, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast of time spent with media. Going forward, however, growing competition from other social networks will make it increasingly challenging for Facebook to significantly grow engagement time.

In 2016, US adults will spend an average of 22 minutes a day on Facebook. By comparison, they will spend an average of 43 minutes a day on social networks in general. By 2018, US adults will be spending three more minutes each day on social networks, but just one additional minute on Facebook.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bike to Work Week, May 16-20

Bike to Work Day

To commemorate Bike to Work Week (May 16-20) and Bike to Work Day (May 20), the U.S. Census Bureau presents a graphic showing the percentage of people biking to work in cities with a population of 100,000 or more. The percentages are derived from the 2014 American Community Survey. Internet address:<www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2016/comm/bike2work.html>.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

How the Other Fifth Lives

From the New York Times:

For years now, people have been talking about the insulated world of the top 1 percent of Americans, but the top 20 percent of the income distribution is also steadily separating itself — by geography and by education as well as by income.

This self-segregation of a privileged fifth of the population is changing the American social order and the American political system, creating a self-perpetuating class at the top, which is ever more difficult to break into.

In hard numbers, the percentage of families with children living in very affluent neighborhoods more than doubled between 1970 and 2012, from 6.6 percent to 15.7 percent.

At the same time, the percentage of families with children living in traditional middle class neighborhoods with median incomes between 80 and 125 percent of the surrounding metropolitan area fell from 64.7 percent in 1970 to 40.5 percent.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Federal Court Finds Amazon Liable for Billing Parents for Children’s Unauthorized In-App Charges

Court Will Decide Amount of Monetary Relief Amazon Owes in Coming Months

A federal judge has granted the Federal Trade Commission’s request for summary judgment in the agency’s lawsuit against Amazon, Inc., for billing consumers for unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children.

The judge’s order in the case finds that Amazon received many complaints from consumers about surprise in-app charges incurred by children, citing the fact that the company’s disclosures about the possibility of in-app charges within otherwise “free” apps were not sufficient to inform consumers about the charges.

“We are pleased the federal judge found Amazon liable for unfairly billing consumers for unauthorized in-app purchases by children,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “We look forward to making a case for full refunds to consumers as a result of Amazon’s actions.”

The order calls for further representations from the FTC and Amazon regarding the precise amount of monetary relief Amazon owes consumers as a result of its unlawful practices. In addition, the order grants a partial summary judgment requested by Amazon regarding injunctive relief requested by the FTC in the case.

The FTC’s case against Amazon was first filed in July, 2014. The FTC reached settlements with Apple, Inc. and Google, Inc. related to unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children requiring the companies to fully refund consumers for such charges, resulting in refunds to consumers totaling over $50 million.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Characteristics of minimum wage workers, 2015

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

In 2015, 78.2 million workers age 16 and older in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.5 percent of all wage and salary workers. Among those paid by the hour, 870,000 workers earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. About 1.7 million had wages below the federal minimum. Together, these 2.6 million workers with wages at or below the federal minimum made up 3.3 percent of all hourly paid workers.

The percentage of hourly paid workers earning the prevailing federal minimum wage or less declined from 3.9 percent in 2014 to 3.3 percent in 2015. This remains well below the percentage of 13.4 recorded in 1979, when data for hourly-paid were first collected on a regular basis.

This report presents highlights and statistical tables describing workers who earned at or below the federal minimum wage in 2015. The data are obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a national monthly survey of approximately 60,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Information on earnings is collected from one-fourth of the CPS sample each month.

The CPS does not include questions on whether workers are covered by the minimum wage provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or by individual state or local minimum wage laws. The estimates of workers paid at or below the federal minimum wage are based solely on the hourly wage they report, which does not include overtime pay, tips, or commissions.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Older Americans Month: May 2016

President Kennedy first celebrated older Americans by designating May 1963 as Senior Citizens Month. After a meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens, Kennedy encouraged all Americans to pay tribute to older people across the country. Every President since has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May in support of older Americans. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter’s proclamation changed the name to Older Americans Month. This month continues to be a time to celebrate those 65 and older through ceremonies, events and public recognition.
46.2 million
The number of people who were 65 and older in the United States on July 1, 2014. This group accounted for 14.5 percent of the total population. The 65 and older population grew from 44.7 million in 2013. Source: 2014 Population Estimates <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPAGESEX> <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2015/cb15-113.html>
98.2 million
Projected population of people 65 and older in 2060. People in this age group would comprise nearly one in four U.S. residents at that time. Of this number, 19.7 million would be 85 or older. Source: 2014 National Population Projections, Table 3 <http://www.census.gov/population/projections/data/national/2014/summarytables.html>
2.4 million
Projected number of baby boomers in 2060. At that time, the youngest baby boomers would be 96 years old. Source: Population Estimates and Projections <http://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p25-1141.pdf>
The year in which, for the first time, the population 65 and older would outnumber people younger than 18 in the U.S. Source: 2014 National Population Projections <http://www.census.gov/population/projections/data/national/2014.html>

Thursday, April 21, 2016

US ranks 41 out of 180 in global press freedom

From BoingBoing:

Uruguay, Namibia, Samoa, Ghana, and South Africa all offer a greater "level of freedom of information” than the United States, according to Reporters Without Borders' 2016 World Press Freedom Index. The U.S. is ranked at 41 out of 180 countries in the survey.

RSF says the U.S. moved from 49th place in 2015 up to 41 this year, but "relative improvement by comparison hides overall negative trends." In other words, we're still screwed on press freedom, and the future doesn't look great.

From NPR's Laura Wagner, on The Two-Way:
Citing the U.S. government's "war on whistleblowers who leak information about its surveillance activities, spying and foreign operations, especially those linked to counter-terrorism," and the country's lack of a "shield law" that would allow journalists to protect confidential sources, the report takes a decidedly negative view of U.S. press freedom.

Monday, April 18, 2016

How is New York City growing if it’s constantly losing people?

From Stat Chat @the University of Virginia

Year after year, some of the nation’s most dynamic cities are also the nation’s biggest losers when it comes to migrants. Yet rather than waste away, they continue to boom. This widely misunderstood paradox leads to some interesting articles every time the Census Bureau releases a new round of county population and migration estimates, as it did several weeks ago.

New York City is the prime example, as it is for most urban phenomena in the U.S. Four of New York’s five boroughs – all but Staten Island – were among the eight counties with the biggest losses in net domestic migration last year...

The conclusion suggested by domestic migration numbers is that New York is dying as its residents abandon ship, dragging down statewide migration numbers with it. New Yorkers would be right to question such pronouncements in the face of their skyrocketing rents, though. The city is as crowded and economically powerful as ever. Its population continues to climb despite an astronomical cost of living that suggests even more people would live there if they could. From 2010 to 2015, the Census Bureau estimates that New York City’s population increased by over 375,000. This is despite the fact that it had a net loss of over 400,000 migrants to other parts of the country.