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Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession

December 18, 2014 Comments off

Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession
Source: Pew Research Center

The Great Recession, fueled by the crises in the housing and financial markets, was universally hard on the net worth of American families. But even as the economic recovery has begun to mend asset prices, not all households have benefited alike, and wealth inequality has widened along racial and ethnic lines.

The wealth of white households was 13 times the median wealth of black households in 2013, compared with eight times the wealth in 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Likewise, the wealth of white households is now more than 10 times the wealth of Hispanic households, compared with nine times the wealth in 2010.

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America’s Demographic Transformation: Next America

April 10, 2014 Comments off

America’s Demographic Transformation: Next America
Source: Pew Research

America is in the midst of two major changes to its population: We are becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Explore these shifts in our new interactive data essay.

For Millennials, a bachelor’s degree continues to pay off, but a master’s earns even more

March 3, 2014 Comments off

For Millennials, a bachelor’s degree continues to pay off, but a master’s earns even more
Source: Pew Research Center

Millennials are the nation’s most educated generation in history in terms of finishing college. But despite the stereotype that today’s recent college graduates are largely underemployed, the data show that this generation of college grads earns more than ones that came before it.

In 2009 (the latest year available) the median monthly earnings of young adults with a bachelor’s degree and no further education was $3,836, a 13% increase from 1984 ($3,399), according to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).

The economic payoffs for obtaining a bachelor’s degree vary widely by major field of study. It is certainly possible that earnings have declined since the early 1980s for specific major fields of study. But given what young adults choose to study, the typical or median young adult with a bachelor’s degree earns more than they used to.

The data also show that earnings of young workers with advanced degrees have grown even more than the earnings of those with bachelor’s degrees. The median monthly earnings of young adults with master’s degrees rose 23% from 1984 ($3,875) to 2009 ($4,772). Median earnings for those with professional and doctorate degrees is up even more –34%.

What Does Murdoch Own in the U.S.?

July 15, 2011 Comments off

What Does Murdoch Own in the U.S.?
Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism (Pew Research Center)

Rupert Murdoch and his company have generated scandalous headlines about its activities in the U.K. The News of the World hacking and bribery saga has led to an FBI investigation into whether Murdoch staff might have engaged in any similar actions in the United States.

Murdoch has a range of media investments in the U.S. including film, entertainment and news programming. The Who Owns the News Media Database in PEJ’s State of the News Media 2011 report provides details about News Corporation’s holdings in the U.S. See Murdoch’s media companies in the U.S.

For a list of non-news related properties, including sports channels, and entertainment websites, click here.

Visit PEJ’s Who Owns the Media database to compare and explore other companies that own news properties in the United States.

A New Equilibrium: After Passage of Landmark Credit Card Reform, Interest Rates and Fees Have Stabilized

May 11, 2011 Comments off

A New Equilibrium: After Passage of Landmark Credit Card Reform, Interest Rates and Fees Have Stabilized
Source: Pew Safe Credit Cards Project (Pew Research Center)

Credit card holders are seeing stabilized interest rates, the elimination of overlimit penalty charges, a reduction in late fees charged by banks and minimal changes in annual fees since the Credit CARD Act of 2009 took effect. The study, A New Equilibrium: After Passage of Landmark Credit Card Reform, Interest Rates and Fees Have Stabilized, is the latest in a series of reports from the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project that has examined all consumer credit cards offered online by the nation’s 12 largest banks and 12 largest credit union issuers. Together, these institutions control more than 90 percent of the nation’s outstanding credit card debt. For this latest report, which measures how the industry has changed since the passage of the Credit CARD Act, Pew collected data in March 2010 and January 2011.

Pew’s findings, explained in greater detail within the report, are as follows:

  • Interest rates have stabilized. Median advertised interest rates for purchases on bank-issued credit cards held steady at 12.99 to 20.99 percent. Likewise, bank cash advance and penalty interest rates remained unchanged from 2010 to 2011. During that same period, median credit union purchase rates slightly increased and cash advance rates declined.
  • Penalties cost less. Since the enactment of the legislation, overlimit penalty fees have all but vanished. Only 11 percent of bank credit cards now include them, while the largest credit unions have eliminated them entirely. Pew’s research finds that late fees continue to be widespread. However, the cost of fees has gone down now that the law limits first-time late fees to $25 in most cases.
  • Annual fees have changed little. Last year, roughly 14 percent of both bank and credit union cards carried annual fees; in 2011, that number held steady for credit union-issued cards and rose to 21 percent for bank-issued cards. The amount charged for annual fees remained at a median of $59 for banks and $25 for credit unions. Forty percent of cards with annual fees included no-fee promotions for the first year.
  • Overlimit penalty fees have become increasingly rare. Only 11 percent of bank credit cards now carry them (down from 23 percent in 2010 and more than 80 percent in 2009), while the largest credit unions have eliminated overlimit fees completely. Late fees continued to be included on more than 95 percent of all credit card products.

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Where People Go, How They Get There and What Lures Them Away

May 9, 2011 Comments off

Where People Go, How They Get There and What Lures Them Away
Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism (Pew Research Center)

Whatever the future of journalism, much of it depends on understanding the ways that people navigate the digital news environment—the behavior of what might be called the new news consumer.

Despite the unprecedented level of data about what news people consume online and how they consume it, understanding these new metrics has often proven elusive. The statistics are complicated, sometimes contradictory, and often introduce new information whose meaning is not clear.

To shed more light on Web news behavior, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has conducted an in-depth study of detailed audience statistics from the Nielsen Company. The study examines the top 25 news websites in popularity in the United States, delving deeply into four main areas of audience behavior: how users get to the top news sites; how long they stay during each visit; how deep they go into a site; and where they go when they leave.

Overall, the findings suggest that there is not one group of news consumers online but several, each of which behaves differently. These differences call for news organizations to develop separate strategies to serve and make money from each audience.

The findings also reveal that while search aggregators remain the most popular way users find news, the universe of referring sites is diverse. Social media is rapidly becoming a competing driver of traffic. And far from obsolete, home pages are usually the most popular page for most of the top news sites.

What users do with news content, the study also suggests, could significantly influence the economics of the news industry. Understanding not only what content users will want to consume but also what content they are likely to pass along may be a key to how stories are put together and even what stories get covered in the first place.

State of the News Media 2011

April 5, 2011 Comments off

State of the News Media 2011
Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism (Pew Research Center)

By several measures, the state of the American news media improved in 2010.

After two dreadful years, most sectors of the industry saw revenue begin to recover. With some notable exceptions, cutbacks in newsrooms eased. And while still more talk than action, some experiments with new revenue models began to show signs of blossoming.

Among the major sectors, only newspapers suffered continued revenue declines last year — an unmistakable sign that the structural economic problems facing newspapers are more severe than those of other media. When the final tallies are in, we estimate 1,000 to 1,500 more newsroom jobs will have been lost — meaning newspaper newsrooms are 30% smaller than in 2000.

Beneath all this, however, a more fundamental challenge to journalism became clearer in the last year. The biggest issue ahead may not be lack of audience or even lack of new revenue experiments. It may be that in the digital realm the news industry is no longer in control of its own future.

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