Dec. 29, 2014

In late spurt of activity, Congress avoids ‘least productive’ title

An unusually active lame duck session enabled the 113th Congress to avoid its predecessor’s record for legislative unproductivity.

Dec. 16, 2014

Do lower gasoline prices make for confident consumers?

Lower gas prices tend to improve consumer sentiment, but the actual impact on the overall economy probably is small.

Dec. 11, 2014

Retailers still rely on holiday sales, but not quite as much as they used to

Sales at many retailers spike during the year-end holiday season, but holiday sales overall are a bit less significant than they were two decades ago.

Dec. 5, 2014

For retailers, the holidays mean a hiring binge — and then a purge

Retail is one of the more seasonally variable sectors of the U.S. economy, but much of the holiday hiring surge is concentrated in just a handful of categories.

Dec. 2, 2014

How productive are lame duck Congresses?

Lame duck congressional sessions have become more common in recent years, but their actual legislative productivity has varied considerably.

Nov. 24, 2014

Facing challenges, pollsters broaden experiments with new methodologies

Pew Research Center is working to broaden experiments, aimed both at dealing with the problems confronting traditional probability-based polls and taking advantage of opportunities provided by new technologies.

Nov. 21, 2014

Executive actions on immigration have long history

President Obama’s executive action to protect millions of unauthorized immigrants from deportation is an act that both follows and departs from precedents set by his predecessors.

Nov. 17, 2014

Where near-minimum-wage workers work, and how much they make

The restaurant and food service industry is the single biggest employer of near-minimum workers, employing 3.75 million near-minimum workers, about 18% of the total.

Nov. 14, 2014

More and more Americans are outside the labor force entirely. Who are they?

More than 92 million Americans last month were considered outside the labor force entirely. While most of them are older, the biggest increase has been among teens and young adults.

Nov. 7, 2014

Employment, unemployment and underemployment: Different stories from the jobs numbers

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly data about employment, the lion’s share of the attention goes to one figure — the unemployment rate. But that’s not the only or best indicator of where the economy stands.