Posts Tagged ‘chart’

Chart of the day

Posted: 23 November 2015 in Uncategorized
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An increasing number of student loan borrowers are struggling to repay their education debt as outstanding student loan balances nationwide increased by $13 billion in the third quarter of 2015, according to the New York Federal Reserve.

The percentage of student loan borrowers who are at least 90-day delinquent in payments rose to 11.6 percent during the third quarter of 2015, up from 11.5 percent the previous quarter. The Fed said the 11.6 percent number likely understates delinquency rates “because about half of these loans are currently in deferment, in grace periods or in forbearance and therefore temporarily not in the repayment cycle. This implies that among loans in the repayment cycle delinquency rates are roughly twice as high.”

total debt

Outstanding student loan balances increased to $1.20 trillion as of 30 September 2015. That’s higher than all other forms of individual debt (such as home equity, autos, and credit cards), except home mortgages.

Chart of the day

Posted: 20 November 2015 in Uncategorized
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As Aleks Kajstura and Russ Immarigeon [ht: ja] explain,

Across the globe, the 25 jurisdictions with the highest rates of incarcerating women are all American states. Thailand, at number 26, is the first non-U.S. government to appear on this high-end list, followed closely at number 27 by the Unites States itself. The next 17 jurisdictions are also American states.

Overall, with the exception of Thailand and the U.S. itself, the top 44 jurisdictions throughout the world with the highest rate of incarcerating women are individual American states.

Nearly 30% of the world’s incarcerated women are in the United States, twice the percentage as in China and four times as much as in Russia.

Putting U.S. states in a global context is sobering; even the U.S. states that have comparatively low rates of incarceration far out-incarcerate the majority of the world.

Illinois’ incarceration rate for women is on par with El Salvador, where abortion is illegal and women are routinely jailed for having miscarriages. New Hampshire is on par with Russia, and New York with Rwanda.

Rhode Island, which has the lowest incarceration rate for women in the U.S.would have the 15th highest incarceration rate in the world if it were a country. In other words, only 14 countries (not including the United States) incarcerate women at a higher rate than Rhode Island, the U.S. state that incarcerates women at the lowest rate of imprisonment.

Since the data are missing from the chart, I should explain the U.S. rate as a whole is 127 per 100,000 population, just behind Thailand (130). West Virginia has the highest rate of U.S. states (273).  The rate in Illinois (88) is just ahead of El Salvador (87), while the rate in Rhode Island (39) is higher than Kazakhstan (38).

We’re #28!

Posted: 19 November 2015 in Uncategorized
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The United States is 28 (among 145 countries) in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index rankings [ht: ja] for 2015.* It is thus sandwiched between Mozambique and Cuba and far below the top ten.

Italy (41) comes in even lower, just ahead of Colombia, while Israel’s rank is only 53, six places behind Kazakhstan.

The U.S. ranking is pulled up by such factors as average income, enrollment in education, and sex ratio at birth but pulled down by a large number of gender gaps: labor force participation, senior officials and managers, healthy life expectancy, and all forms of political empowerment (women in legislatures, women in cabinet posts, and years with a female head of state).


*This year is the tenth edition of the Index, which benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education, and health criteria.

Chart of the day

Posted: 16 November 2015 in Uncategorized
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The terrorist attacks in Paris need to be condemned, the masterminds hunted for and captured, and safeguards against future attacks kept in place.

But, just to put things in perspective, while terrorist attacks in rich western nations attract much more attention from the international media, the people outside those countries have been victims of terrorism to a much greater degree.

They, too, deserve attention and protection.

Chart of the day

Posted: 10 November 2015 in Uncategorized
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In the wake of the disaster caused by the dam break at one of BHP Billiton’s jointly owned mines in Brazil, I took a look at the data collection and analysis conducted by Lindsay Newland Bowker and David M. Chambers (pdf) for the Center for Science in Public Participation.

What Bowker and Chambers found is that—in contrast to the prevailing story “that the lower numbers of failures and incidents in the two most recent decades evidence the success of modern mining regulation, improved industry practices and modern technology”—there has been an emerging and pronounced trend since 1960 toward a higher incidence of “Serious” and “Very Serious” failures. In other words, the consequence of loss from Tailings Storage Facility failures has become increasingly greater.

Their conclusion?

The advances in mining technology over the past 100 years which have made it economically feasible to mine lower grades of ore against a century of declining prices have not been counterbalanced with advances in economically efficient means of managing the exponentially expanding volume of associated environmental liabilities in waste rock, tailings and waste waters. In fact those new technologies which do offer better management of mine wastes usually add significant cost and are often detrimental to bottom line financial feasibility. This is evidenced in a post-1990 trend toward un-fundable environmental losses of greater consequence. This interdisciplinary review of TSF failures 1910-2010 establishes a clear and irrefutable relationship between the mega trends that squeeze cash flows for all miners at all locations, and this indisputably clear trend toward failures of ever greater environmental consequence.


Income inequality in the United States increases as people get older.

That’s the stark conclusion of a new study by Fatih Karaham for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.* In the chart above, men are grouped into percentiles of total lifetime income (income earned between ages twenty-five and sixty).

The chart shows that the median worker in the income distribution experiences about a 38 percent rise in his real earnings between ages twenty-five and sixty. There is an impressive amount of heterogeneity: Workers below the 20th percentile actually experience a decline in earnings, while those in the top 1 percent experience a fifteenfold increase.

Both Karaham and Mark Thoma [ht: ja] then focus on two causes of that growing inequality: “differences in permanent abilities” (which have “to do with human capital investments before labor market entry”) and “labor market risk” (such as unemployment and health problems).

Me, I think there’s a key difference between the wages of those who produce the surplus and those at the top who get a cut of the surplus.

In the way the U.S. economy is currently organized, the wages of workers who actually produce the surplus may or may not increase over their lifetimes (depending, of course, on how precarious their jobs and their job-related lives are)—and, even if they do increase, it’s not by a lot. However, the incomes of those at the top, who manage to capture a portion of the surplus created by the workers they manage or because they work in sectors (like finance) where a great deal of the surplus ends up, get older with much higher incomes.

Neither improved education and job training nor better social insurance will solve the growing dispersion of incomes as Americans get older.

*To be clear, this is a study of men’s earnings only. Apparently, they’re “currently undertaking a similar study that focuses on the earnings dynamics of women.”

hourly earnings

We’re now six and a half years into the official recovery from the Great Recession and, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the headline unemployment rate has fallen to 5 percent.

However, just to keep things in perspective, the number of long-term unemployed (workers who have been without a job for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.1 million in October and has shown little change since June. These individuals accounted for 26.8 percent of the unemployed in October.

And, as we can see from the chart above, workers’ wages, while increasing, have still recovered much more slowly than during the previous three business cycles.

As I wrote yesterday,

it is clear both that the initial downturn was much more protracted than mainstream economists (including central bankers, like Ben Bernanke) had the courage to admit and that the persistent negative effects of that crisis continue to depress actual rates of growth below the earlier trend.