52 Fascinating Facts About the Economy

The following material was gathered by Morgan House whose latest e-book, 50 Years in the Making: The Great Recession and Its Aftermath is available on your iPad, Kindle, on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

1.    The unemployment rate for men is 8.4%. For married men, it’s 4.9%.

2.    The unemployment rate for college graduates is 3.9%. For high school dropouts, it’s 13%.

3.    According to The New York Times: “From 2001 to 2011, state and local financing per [college] student declined by 24 percent nationally.”

4.    Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranks the United States as the 24th least-corrupt country in the world, just behind Qatar and ahead of Uruguay.

5.    China’s labor force grew by 145 million from 1990 to 2008. The entire U.S. labor force today is 156 million.

6.    From 1929 to 1932, the total amount of money paid out in wages fell by 60%, according to historian Frederick Lewis Allen. By contrast, from 2007-2009, total American wages fell less than 5%. What we experienced in recent years was nothing close to the Great Depression.

7.    China’s working-age population is expected to shrink by more than 200 million between now and 2050. The U.S.’ is expected to rise by 47 million.

8.    According to author Charles Murray, just 3% of American couples both had a college degree in 1960. By 2010, 25% did.

9.    If state, local, and federal employment followed the same trend from 2008 through today as it did from 2005-2008, the unemployment rate would be 6.5% instead of 8.2%.

10. In Russia, 0.00007% of the population (100 people) controls 20% of the wealth.

11. According to a 2007 Gallup poll, Americans give Hugo Chavez a 9% approval rating — the exact same as they gave Congress last fall.

12. For the 2012-2013 fiscal year, California will spend $8.7 billion on prisons and $4.8 billion on its UC and state college systems.

13. Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) accounts for almost 2% of all U.S. exports.

14. North Dakota has 0.7 unemployed people for each available job opening.

15. Because of its one-child policy, China’s labor force will start to decline in 2016.

16. The U.S. makes up less than 5% of the world’s population, but a third of the world’s spending on pharmaceuticals, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare.

17. Since December 2007, male employment has fallen 4.7%. Female employment fell just about half that amount, 2.7%

18. According to writer Dan Gross: “The United States produced about as much output in the third quarter of 2011 as it did in the third quarter of 2007, albeit with about 6 million fewer workers on the payroll.”

19. PCs outsold Macs by nearly 60-to-1 in 2004. Last year, the ratio was closer to 20-to-1, according to analyst Horace Dediu.

20. If you earn minimum wage, you’ll need to work 923 hours to pay for a year at an average public four-year college. In 1980, it took 254 hours.

21. According to a study by the Dallas Federal Reserve, foreign-born citizens made up 14% of the labor force in 2002, yet accounted for 51% of total jobs growth from 1996-2002.

22. Forty percent of kids raised in a family in the top income quintile stay there as adults, and 40% of those born into the lowest quintile remain there. Only 8% of those raised in the top quintile drop to the lowest quintile as adults, according to the Pew Economic Mobility Project.

23. According to a report by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, just over half of students who enroll in a four-year college receive a bachelor’s degree within six years.

24. Five of every six American families earn more than their respective parents did, according to the Pew Economic Mobility Project.

25. Federal Reserve economist Bhashkar Mazumder has shown that incomes among brothers are more correlated than height or weight.

26. Ten percent of Medicare recipients who received hospital care made up 64% of the program’s hospital spending in 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal.

27. According to a Rutgers survey based on a nationwide sampling, only 51% of those who have graduated college since 2006 are now employed full time. Twenty percent are in graduate school. The rest…

28. As a percentage of GDP, government spending was higher in 1983 under President Ronald Reagan than it will be this fiscal year (23.5% vs. 23.3%, respectively), according to data by the Tax Policy Center.

29. More government jobs were eliminated on net in 2010 than in any other year since at least 1939. As a percentage of government workers, the decline was the largest since 1947.

30. According to Sheldon Jacobson of the University of Illinois, the added weight carried by vehicles due to obesity in America consumes an additional 938 million gallons of gasoline a year.

31. The median American family’s net worth fell to $77,300 in 2010 from $126,400 in 2007, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance. That erased nearly two decades of accumulated wealth.

32. According to UCLA: “Only 3.1 percent of the world’s children live in the United States, but U.S. families buy more than 40 percent of the toys consumed globally.”

33. Delaware, a famous business haven, has more corporations than people — 945,000 to 897,000, according to The New York Times. One office building in Wilmington is home to more than a quarter-million registered businesses.

34. According to Manpower’s 2012 Talent Shortage Survey, 49% of U.S. businesses report difficulty filling available job openings.

35. According to U.S. News & World Report, the average law student graduates with more than $100,000 in student loans. According to the American Bar Association, just over half of those who graduated law school in 2011 have full-time jobs that require a law degree.

36. Only 52% of American families say they were able to save anything in 2010, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance.

37. Adjusted for inflation, the median average hourly wage was lower in 2011 than it was in 2001.

38. “In 2010, 6.0 percent of families reported that their spending usually exceeds their income,” according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance.

39. Five years ago, coal provided about half the nation’s electricity. Today, it’s about one-third. Natural gas’ share during that time rose from 21% to 30%, according to the Energy Information Agency.

40. Since 1968, the U.S. population has increased from 200 million to 314 million, and federal government employees have declined from 2.9 million to 2.8 million.

41. According to The New York Times: “In the last five years, the United States and Canada combined have become the fastest-growing sources of new oil supplies around the world, overtaking producers like Russia and Saudi Arabia.”

42. As of June 2011, 32% of American homes were cellphone only, up from 17.5% in 2008, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

43. In 1989, the CEOs of the seven largest U.S. banks earned an average of 100 times what a typical household made. By 2007, more than 500 times.

44. America is home to less than 5% of the world’s population, but nearly a quarter of its prisoners.

45. According Dartmouth political scientist Dean Lacy, states that receive more federal government spending than they contribute in tax revenue tend to support Republican candidates, who typically vow to cut spending.

46. After new bank regulations go into effect, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) says 70% of customers with less than $100,000 in deposits or investments will be unprofitable for the bank.

47. According to John Cawley of Cornell and Chad Meyerhoefer of Lehigh University, obese people incur annual medical costs $2,741 higher than non-obese people, or almost $200 billion nationwide.

48. Many talk about how much we import from China, but few discuss how much we sell to them. Exports from the U.S. to China were $19.2 billion in 2001, and $104 billion in 2011.

49. According to economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, 80% of all income growth from 1980 to 2005 went to the top 1% of wage earners.

50. From 1970 to 2012, median household income increased at one-tenth the rate it did from 1949-1979.

51. Among high school seniors who scored more than 700 on the math and verbal portions of the SATs (a very high score), 87% have at least one parent with a college degree. Fifty-six percent have a parent with a graduate degree, according to author Charles Murray.

52.  America is aging. Older workers (age 55+) are about to overtake younger workers (age 25-34) for the first time.

I found this information fascinating and believe that students in the middle and high schools will as well. Much of the information contradicts the information supplied by the media.