A new study by Carnegie Mellon University found that in the most Republican states in the country, employers may be less likely to interview job candidates whose social networking profiles indicate that the applicants are Muslim.
As part of a social experiment, the researchers created four fictitious job candidates – each with a unique name that most likely points to someone who is male, U.S. born and Caucasian. The candidates had identical resumes. The researchers also created social network profiles for each of the candidates that revealed either his sexual orientation or whether he was a Muslim or Christian. All other information, including the profile photograph used for each candidate, was the same. The resumes, which did not mention the candidates’ online profile, were then sent out to more than 4,000 employers nationwide with job openings.
Readers should note that the study’s authors did not design the pool of open jobs to be representative of all jobs available in the country, or in Republican-leaning or Democrat-leaning states. The number of job vacancies varied from state to state, and overall, a smaller share of all open jobs was located in Republican states.
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The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline across the U.S.
Although gas prices have begun inching higher, the 38.9 million Americans who are projected to hit the highways this week for Thanksgiving travel likely will have a cheaper holiday drive than the past few years.
The average price of regular gasoline was $3.2517 a gallon as of Nov. 22, according to the latest survey by market-research firm Lundberg Survey. While that’s up 3.46 cents over the previous two weeks, a year ago this time a gallon of regular cost on average about $3.47.
The Lundberg data, which come from a survey of about 2,500 filling stations across the lower 48 states, track closely with the Energy Information Administration’s weekly pump-price survey. Both surveys found that gas prices have declined steadily since Labor Day.
Pump prices are the result of several interacting, and not always predictable, factors, among them crude-oil prices, seasonal reformulations, refinery capacity in different regions and driver demand. This Thanksgiving’s gas prices are the lowest since 2010, when the national average price for a gallon of regular was $2.876, according to the EIA.
As of Nov. 18, according to the EIA, gas was most expensive on the West Coast ($3.467 for a gallon of regular) and cheapest on the Gulf Coast ($3.004 for a gallon of regular). (The EIA will update its data later today at 5 p.m. Eastern time.)
Category: Daily Number
Topics: Energy and Environment
Two sociologists have found that parents who have daughters are more inclined to support the GOP and turn a cold shoulder to Democrats.
In newly published findings that challenge earlier research, Dalton Conley of New York University and Emily Rauscher of the University of Kansas found that having more daughters than sons and having a daughter first “significantly reduces the likelihood of Democratic identification and significantly increases the strength of Republican Party identification.”
Not only is the daughter effect statistically significant, it’s substantively large. They found that overall, “compared to those with no daughters, parents with all daughters are 14% less likely to identify as a Democrat….[and] 11% more likely to identify as a Republican than parents with no daughters,” they write in the journal Sociological Forum.
The daughters effect is considerably stronger among better educated and wealthier parents, they find. But among those farther down the socioeconomic ladder, it weakens to statistical insignificance. Read More →
Category: Social Studies
Media companies’ rush to acquire local television stations produced largely positive results in the third quarter, but some companies suffered losses tied to a plunge in advertising dollars.
Revenue from six of the 13 major station-owning groups, all of them public companies, increased in the third quarter of 2013 compared with the same period a year earlier.
The leaders were Nexstar, at 40% growth, and Sinclair, at 35%. Nexstar owns 75 television stations, which reach 44 markets across the country, and Sinclair operates 163 television stations in 77 markets.
Seven companies showed revenue declines year-to-year, with Scripps (-21%) and Washington Post Co. (-18%) suffering the biggest losses. (Following the sale of the flagship paper, The Washington Post Co. is being renamed the Graham Holdings Co.) Scripps owns 19 local TV stations in 13 markets and The Washington Post Co. owns six stations in major cities in Florida, Texas and Michigan.
In the first eight months of his pontificate, Pope Francis has impressed, charmed and inspired many people around the world with his outreach to non-Christians, his statements of concern for the poor and disabled, and his personal humility. At the same time, other Catholics have expressed dismay over the pope’s statements about homosexuality and his remarks that the church is “obsessed” with some social issues.
Some news accounts contend that the pope’s popularity has created a “Pope Francis effect,” producing a “significant global rise in church attendance,” based on reports by Catholic clergy in Italy, Britain and and other countries of a recent rise in Mass attendance.
In the United States, home to the world’s fourth-largest Catholic population, the pope appears to be well-liked by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, rated favorably by 79% of Catholics and 58% of the general public.
But has the pope’s popularity produced a Catholic resurgence in the U.S., where 10% of adults are former Catholics? Not so far, at least in terms of the share of Americans who identify as such, or the share of those who report attending Mass weekly.
A new analysis of pooled Pew Research surveys conducted between Francis’ election in March and the end of October this year finds that the percentage of Americans who identify as Catholics has remained the same – 22% — as it was during the corresponding seven-month period in 2012. In fact, our polls going back to 2007 show Catholic identification in the U.S. has held stable, fluctuating only between 22% and 23%.
Though Americans may report attending church more frequently than they actually do, our surveys find that self-reported levels of Mass attendance have remained virtually unchanged since the new pope was elected. Since April of this year, 39% of U.S. Catholics report attending Mass at least weekly, similar to the 40% attendance figure last year.
The 50th anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy has generated a barrage of television programming — so much so that the New York Times characterized the phenomenon as TV’s effort to recapture “a moment of rapt, uninterrupted and wholly unprecedented attention.”
Indeed, TV audience and survey data from the days immediately following Nov. 22, 1963 reinforce that description of what happened in American homes during that national trauma. The nation collectively tuned in to non-stop coverage that pioneered a new form of wall-to-wall television news delivery. Veteran CBS newsman Bob Schieffer told Reuters, “The Kennedy assassination became the template for coverage,” while Newseum official Patty Rhule called it the moment when “America became a TV nation.”
Nielsen, the leading provider of television audience data, measured the percentage of U.S. television homes with their sets on in the period from Nov. 22-25, 1963. And although the data do not allow for meaningful comparisons of that audience to today’s, the numbers reflect the degree to which U.S. citizens were riveted to post-assassination coverage.
- 45.4% of America’s homes with a television (a total of 51.3 million homes) had their sets turned on at 2:45 p.m. on Nov. 22, after White House confirmation of President Kennedy’s death. Read More →
How can you display the moving patterns of 7.1 million Americans without a map? Chris Walker, an independent data journalist and visualization blogger, came up with this compelling interactive graphic (even if it looks like a piece of spin-art at first).
Walker built his graphic using 2012 state-to-state migration estimates from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. If you go to the interactive version on his blog and hover over each state’s colored segment along the rim of the circle, you’ll see its overall in-migration and out-migration numbers and isolate its migration links with other states; states that gained or lost a lot of people, such as Florida or California, look like exploding fireworks. (Walker only charted links with at least 10,000 people moving between states. As he explains on his blog, “I had to set a cut-off for drawing a link between two states, because otherwise the whole graphic would look like a tangled hairball”).
The thickness of the lines reflects how many people moved between any two states. Hover over a single line to get the specific traffic figures: For instance, an estimated 53,009 New Yorkers moved to Florida last year, while only 27,392 Floridians moved to New York.
Despite their restless, rootless image, most Americans stay put in any given year, and those who move usually don’t go far. Last year, according to the ACS, 85% of Americans lived in the same place they did a year earlier; 12.2%, or 37.7 million, moved within the same state. Along with the 7.1 million (2.3%) who moved to a different state, 1.8 million (0.6%) moved overseas (including to Puerto Rico or other U.S. island territories).
The only thing Walker’s chart left us wishing for was a summary of which states gained and lost the most migrants. So using the same ACS dataset he did, we compiled these tables. Florida and Texas were by far the biggest gainers, each drawing more than 100,000 people more from other states than they lost to other states. New York was the biggest loser, with nearly 136,000 more people leaving the Empire State for some other state than moving there.
(Thanks to Wired magazine’s MapLab blog for leading us to Walker’s creation.)
Category: Chart of the Week
Less than one-third of Americans were of age to recall personal memories from the day JFK was shot.
Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was shot while riding in a motorcade through downtown Dallas. While news from the event rippled across America, it also seared into the American psyche. Today, virtually all Americans old enough to remember Nov. 22, 1963, still remember it vividly.
According to a September 2011 Pew Research survey, 95% of Americans born in 1955 or earlier said they could recall exactly where they were or what they were doing when Kennedy was killed. That compares with 81% of adults asked in 2011 who remember those details when Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011, and 72% when Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in 1968, according to the same survey. The only other event that weighed on American consciousness to such an extent was the 9/11 terrorist attacks (97%). (Survey questions were filtered to people who were at least eight years of age at the time of each historical event.)
Yet, while memories of JFK’s assassination tend to linger in individuals, the number of people bearing those memories is inevitably declining. As of July 2012, 90.63 million people in the U.S. – or 28.9% of the total population – were of an age in 1963 to be able to retrieve a personal memory. (According to development psychologists, the typical age from which an adult can retrieve a personal memory is between 3 and 4 years old.)
JFK stands out among presidents, in part because he was a cultural phenomenon in his time and because he remains popular today. Asked how Kennedy will go down in history, 74% of Americans today said Kennedy will be remembered as an outstanding or above average president, the highest rating among the 11 most recent presidents.
Category: Daily Number
Topics: News Interest
Support for the new health care law took a beating in November – particularly among Democrats – during a period when many Americans paid close attention to the heavy news coverage of its problem-plagued rollout, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking poll released today.
Topics: Health Care
Among the casualties of the global financial crisis — along with millions of people’s homes, retirement nest eggs and general sense of personal economic security — has been public trust in national governments worldwide.
Between 2006-2008 and 2011-2012, confidence in government fell by at least six percentage points in 18 of the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to Gallup data compiled in a new report, “Government at a Glance 2o13.” The steepest drop was in Ireland, where the share of people answering “yes” to the question “In this country, do you have confidence in each of the following, or not? How about national government?” tumbled from 63% in 2006 to 35% six years later.
On average, just 40% of people in OECD countries said they had confidence in their national governments, down from an average of 45% in 2007. Confidence levels ranged from 77% in Switzerland to 13% in Greece; in the U.S., confidence was 35%.
Public confidence in government was higher in the so-called BRIICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa — averaging 54%, about the same as in 2007 (though there was no earlier reading for China). That was despite a 27-percentage-point fall in government confidence in India, from 82% to 55%.
Why is declining confidence in government important? Without a core level of public trust, the report said, governments have trouble carrying their basic functions, not to mention implementing sometimes-painful economic and fiscal reforms. In addition, people and businesses “can also become more risk-averse, delaying investment, innovation and employment decisions that are essential to regain competitiveness and jumpstart growth.”
While people in the OECD countries may have relatively low confidence in their national leaders, they generally have higher opinions of specific public services. In all but one (Mexico), for instance, at least half of people said they were satisfied with local police, according to the section of the report with country-specific details; the average satisfaction level was 72%.
On average, 71% of people in the surveyed countries said they were satisfied with their health care, 66% with the education system and 51% with the judiciary. Overall, the Swiss, Norwegians and Danes expressed the greatest satisfaction with their public services; the Greeks, Mexicans and Chileans the least.