Oct 10, 2016 7:01 am

Clinton, Trump supporters worlds apart on views of climate change and its scientists

Supporters of Hillary Clinton are far more likely than those of Donald Trump to be concerned about climate change, to believe climate change is mostly the result of human activity, to say a range of policy and individual actions can be effective in addressing climate change and to think scientists understand climate change, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

Differences between Clinton and Trump supporters mirror a deep divide between Democrats and Republicans in their views on climate change and climate scientists. The Center’s new survey on climate change attitudes shows that these political fissures reach across every dimension of the debate.

These differences starkly frame a key set of disputes in the presidential election. Fully 56% of Clinton supporters say they care a great deal about the issue of global climate change. An additional 34% say they care some.

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Topics: 2016 Election, Energy and Environment, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Polarization, U.S. Political Parties

Oct 7, 2016 10:14 am

Americans less concerned than a decade ago over immigrants’ impact on workforce

Americans’ views about the impact the growing number of immigrants working in the U.S. is having on American workers have softened notably over the past decade, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, conducted in association with the Markle Foundation.

The overall population is almost evenly split on whether growing numbers of immigrant workers help or hurt U.S. workers overall: 45% say having more immigrant workers hurts Americans and 42% say this trend helps U.S. workers. (The survey referred to immigrants in general and did not specify whether they were legally permitted or undocumented.)

These attitudes have changed significantly since a 2006 Pew Research Center survey, which found that 55% of Americans believed that the presence of more immigrant workers hurt U.S. laborers. That figure has since decreased by 10 percentage points.

Additionally, the share of Americans who thought a decade ago that the growing number of immigrants helped workers was 28%, marking a 14-point increase in that positive view.

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Topics: Immigration, Immigration Attitudes, National Economy, Work and Employment

Oct 7, 2016 7:00 am

Perceptions and realities of recycling vary widely from place to place

Most Americans have access to some sort of recycling program. However, the rules, practices and community norms around recycling vary considerably from place to place, contributing to dramatically different local recycling levels. People who live in places where social norms strongly encourage recycling are more likely to be aware of recycling rules, say they have more options for recycling, and see more of the waste they generate being recycled rather than landfilled, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The survey, part of a study covering issues involving climate change, energy and the environment, found that about three-in-ten Americans (28%) say their local community’s social norms strongly encourage recycling and re-use. About a fifth (22%) say most people in their communities don’t really encourage recycling; the remaining half live in places where, they say, norms around recycling are somewhere in the middle.

The study comes as U.S. recycling rates, after rising for decades, have plateaued. The Environmental Protection Agency says that in 2013, the most recent year for which it has data, Americans recycled or composted 1.51 pounds of waste per day, a figure that’s changed little since 2006. On the other hand, Americans are doing better at creating less trash in the first place: Per-capita waste generation has fallen from 4.7 pounds per person per day in 2006 to 4.4 pounds in 2013, and total municipal solid waste generation fell by 3 million tons. Read More

Topics: Energy and Environment

Oct 6, 2016 1:00 pm

Voters have little confidence Clinton or Trump would help workers get skills they need to compete

As the demand for high-skilled workers continues to grow, American voters express relatively little confidence in either major party presidential candidate when it comes to their ability to help American workers prepare to compete in today’s economy. Most question whether the campaign has focused enough on this issue.

A Pew Research Center survey, conducted Sept. 1-4, 2016, among 1,004 adults (including 815 registered voters), asked voters which of five key issues would be most important in their vote for president. The economy tops the list, with 37% of registered voters saying this will be the most important issue for them. An additional 18% choose health care and 14% say terrorism. Immigration and gun policy are each named by 13% of voters.

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Topics: 2016 Election, Business and Labor, Economic and Business News, National Economy, Voter Demographics, Work and Employment

Oct 6, 2016 10:07 am

Key findings about the American workforce and the changing job market

The employment landscape in the U.S. has undergone profound changes, and the public is adapting to the new realities of the workplace and rethinking the skills they need to compete. A new Pew Research Center survey, conducted in association with the Markle Foundation, and analysis of government data finds that employment in occupations requiring more education and training is on the rise, and many workers are realizing that retraining and upgrading their skills needs to be a lifetime commitment.

Here are six key takeaways on the state of American jobs:

1Employment has been rising faster in occupations requiring more preparation. As of 2015, some 83 million people worked in jobs that require an average or above average level of preparation (including education, experience and job training), up from 49 million in 1980 – a 68% increase. This was more than double the 31% rise in employment in positions requiring a below average level of job preparation. Employment in these jobs increased from 50 million to 65 million over the same time period.

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Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Business and Labor, Education, Educational Attainment, National Economy, Work and Employment

Oct 6, 2016 7:00 am

Younger adults more likely than their elders to prefer reading news

When it comes to technology’s influence on America’s young adults, reading is not dead – at least not the news. When asked whether one prefers to read, watch or listen to their news, younger adults are far more likely than older ones to opt for text, and most of that reading takes place on the web.

Overall, more Americans prefer to watch their news (46%) than to read it (35%) or listen to it (17%), a Pew Research Center survey found earlier this year. But that varies dramatically by age. Those ages 50 and older are far more likely to prefer watching news over any other method: About half (52%) of 50- to 64-year-olds and 58% of those 65 and older would rather watch the news, while roughly three-in-ten (29% and 27%, respectively) prefer to read it. Among those under 50, on the other hand, roughly equal portions – about four-in-ten of those ages 18-29 and ages 30-49 – opt to read their news as opt to watch it.  Read More

Topics: Audio and Radio, Digital Media, E-reading, Generations and Age, Internet Activities, News Audience Trends and Attitudes, News Sources, Newspapers, Online Video, Technology Adoption

Oct 5, 2016 12:01 pm

Americans strongly favor expanding solar power to help address costs and environmental concerns

As the solar energy industry gears up to add more electricity-generating capacity than any other source this year, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that almost nine-in-ten U.S. adults (89%) favor expanding use of solar power, while only 9% oppose it. That sentiment bridges the partisan divide, with large majorities from across the political spectrum favoring more use of this alternative source.

Planned large-scale solar farms are expected to add 9.5 gigawatts of electricity-generating capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a government agency that collects and analyzes information about the energy industry. Natural gas is expected to add 8 gigawatts and wind 6.8 gigawatts. And that figure for solar doesn’t count electricity-generating capacity from distributed solar, such as rooftop panels. (In 2015, distributed solar added nearly 2 gigawatts of capacity.)

To put all this in context, the total in-service electricity-generating capacity in the U.S. was about 1,070 gigawatts as of July 2016.  Read More

Topics: Energy and Environment, Homeownership

Oct 5, 2016 10:50 am

Key facts about the world’s refugees

With the number of displaced people in the world at more than 60 million in 2015 – a total that counts both those living inside and outside of their home countries – the plight of refugees has gained new prominence as countries, including the U.S., have taken in displaced people. To address the issue, the United Nations General Assembly will host a summit on refugees and migrants on Sept. 19, and President Barack Obama will hold his own Leaders’ Summit on the topic the following day.

Here are 10 key facts about the world’s refugees as well as those entering Europe and the United States.

1Nearly 1 in 100 people worldwide are now displaced from their homes, the highest share of the world’s population that has been forcibly displaced since the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees began collecting data on displaced persons in 1951. Displacement levels are higher in some regions of the world than others. For example, more than one-in-twenty people living in the Middle East (5.6%) are displaced. Meanwhile, about one-in-sixty people living in continental Africa (1.6%) are displaced (not including Egypt, which is considered part of the Middle East). In Europe, 0.7% of the population is displaced, similar to levels following the collapse of Eastern Bloc countries in the early 1990s.

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Topics: Eastern Europe, Europe, Immigration, Immigration Trends, Middle East and North Africa, Migration, Wars and International Conflicts, Western Europe

Oct 5, 2016 9:00 am

U.S. admits record number of Muslim refugees in 2016

A total of 38,901 Muslim refugees entered the U.S. in fiscal year 2016, making up almost half (46%) of the nearly 85,000 refugees who entered the country in that period, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center. That means the U.S. has admitted the highest number of Muslim refugees of any year since data on self-reported religious affiliations first became publicly available in 2002.

Almost the same number of Christian (37,521) as Muslim refugees were admitted in fiscal 2016, which ended Sept. 30. A slightly lower share of 2016’s refugees were Christian (44%) than Muslim, the first time that has happened since fiscal 2006, when a large number of Somali refugees entered the U.S.

People seeking to enter the U.S. as refugees are processed overseas. As part of the process, they are asked a series of questions, including their religious affiliation. When their applications are approved, refugees travel to the U.S. to be resettled by nonprofit groups associated with the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Refugees to the U.S. are different from asylum seekers, who claim asylum after already being in the U.S. or crossing into the U.S. via an airport or land border.

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Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Christians and Christianity, Middle East and North Africa, Migration, Muslims and Islam, Religious Affiliation

Oct 4, 2016 2:45 pm

Deep divides between, within parties on public debates about LGBT issues

Over the last few years, contentious public debates have emerged on issues involving religious liberty, traditional values and civil rights for LGBT people, including whether wedding-related businesses should be required to provide their services to same-sex couples, and – more recently – over the use of public restrooms by transgender people.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) could face questions about these issues in the vice presidential debate tonight. Pence, a Republican, signed a state law in 2015 that provides a legal defense for business owners who deny services to LGBT couples on religious grounds.

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Topics: 2016 Election, Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, Gender, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Polarization, Religion and Government, Religion and U.S. Politics, Religious Beliefs and Practices