Jul 23, 2018 9:01 am

About a third of large U.S. newspapers have suffered layoffs since 2017

Reporter Noelle Phillips (center right) consoles reporter Elizabeth Hernandez at The Denver Post on March 14 during an announcement of forthcoming newsroom layoffs there. (Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Newspaper layoffs have far from abated in the past year, and digital-native news outlets are also suffering losses, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

Sizable shares of largest U.S. newspapers and digital-native news outlets have experienced recent layoffsAt least 36% of the largest newspapers across the United States – as well as at least 23% of the highest-traffic digital-native news outlets – experienced layoffs between January 2017 and April 2018, according to the study. Among newspapers, those with the highest circulation were most likely to be affected.

The analysis comes amid a series of highly publicized staff reductions by hedge fund companies that had acquired well-known newspapers, including The Denver Post, where employees publicly criticized the cuts made by the papers’ owners.

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Topics: Newspapers, State of the News Media, Newsroom Investment and Resources, News Media Sectors, Digital Media

Jul 20, 2018 7:01 am

Black Millennials are more religious than other Millennials

(Willie Powell/EyeEm/Getty Images)

This is one of an occasional series of posts on black Americans and religion.

In recent years, a number of Pew Research Center surveys have shown that Millennials in the United States – young adults born between 1981 and 1996 – are generally less religious than older Americans, based on our core measures of religious commitment. This holds true for black people, in that black Millennials tend to be less religious than older blacks. That said, black Millennials are considerably more religious than others in their generation, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

Black Millennials more religious than other Millennials, though less so than older black peopleAbout six-in-ten black Millennials (61%) say they pray at least daily, a significantly higher share than the 39% of nonblack Millennials saying this. And while 38% of black Millennials say they attend religious services at least weekly, just a quarter (25%) of other Millennials do this, according to the analysis based on data from the Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study.

In fact, nearly two-thirds (64%) of black Millennials are highly religious on a four-item scale of religious commitment – which includes belief in God and self-described importance of religion, in addition to prayer and worship attendance – compared with 39% of nonblack Millennials.

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Topics: Millennials, Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs and Practices, Race and Ethnicity, Generations and Age

Jul 19, 2018 1:32 pm

As new tariffs take hold, more see negative than positive impact for the U.S.

A shipping container is offloaded from the Hong Kong-based ship CSCL East China Sea at the Port of Oakland in California on June 20. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Americans’ views of the new tariffs between the United States and some of its trading partners tilt more negative than positive, a new Pew Research Center survey finds.

More say increased tariffs with trading partners will be bad than good for U.S.Overall, nearly half (49%) of U.S. adults say increased tariffs between the U.S. and its trading partners will be bad for the country. A smaller share (40%) say the tariffs will be good for the U.S., while 11% say they don’t know how the tariffs will affect the country.

The debate over trade has registered widely with the public: 82% say they have heard either a lot (48%) or a little (34%) about the Trump administration’s decision to increase tariffs on goods from a number of countries – including China and Canada – and the tariffs those countries have placed on U.S. goods in response.

The survey, conducted July 11-15 among 1,007 adults, finds that attitudes toward the tariffs are deeply polarized. About seven-in-ten (73%) Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say increased tariffs between the U.S. and its trading partners will be a good thing for the country. Roughly the same share of Democrats and Democratic leaners (77%) say the increased tariffs will be a bad thing for the U.S.

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Topics: Political Polarization, Globalization and Trade, Political Attitudes and Values

Jul 19, 2018 7:00 am

Populist views in Europe: It’s not just the economy

Supporters and elected officials of France’s right-aligned populist party Rassemblement National, formerly known as National Front, protest the French government’s immigration policies next to the National Assembly in Paris on April 20. (Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images)

Nationalist populism has become a major force in European politics. But while such populism has long been thought to have its roots in economic anxiety, a new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data suggests there are additional factors at play.

Europeans favorable to populist parties are slightly less positive about the economy, but not all are negative

Those who have a favorable opinion of populist parties in Germany and Sweden, for example, are only slightly less likely than those with unfavorable views to be upbeat about the economy. Roughly three-quarters (77%) of those who have a favorable opinion of the populist Alternative for Germany party (AfD) say their country’s economic situation is good; that compares with 87% among other Germans. Similarly, three-quarters of those with a positive view of the populist Sweden Democrats party say their country’s economic situation is good, compared with 91% among other Swedes.

In other countries, populist party backers stand out less on the economy. In Italy, for instance, only 15% of the populist Northern League’s supporters give the Italian economy a thumbs-up, roughly on par with the 18% of others in the Italian public who also hold a downbeat view.

Nostalgia may be a better predictor of populist sentiments. Roughly six-in-ten French adults with a positive view of the populist National Front (62%) say life in France is worse today for people like them than it was 50 years ago. Only about four-in-ten (41%) of the rest of the French population share that perspective. In Germany, 44% of AfD supporters say life today is worse than 50 years ago; that compares with just 16% of other Germans. Those with populist sympathies in Sweden and the Netherlands similarly lament the passing of better times in the past.

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Topics: Western Europe, International Governments and Institutions, Europe, National and Cultural Identity

Jul 18, 2018 2:30 pm

EU unemployment rate falls to near pre-recession low

A factory worker on the production line at a coffee factory in Campo Maior, Portugal, in March 2016. Portugal’s unemployment rate fell 9.7 percentage points between the first quarters of 2013 and 2018. (Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images)

The European Union’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest point in almost a decade, though joblessness still varies widely among the 28 countries that make up the bloc, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from Eurostat, Europe’s statistical agency.

EU-28 unemployment rate has nearly returned to pre-recession low

The EU unemployment rate was 7.1% in the first quarter of 2018, the most recent quarter for which data for all countries are available. That was nearly on par with the 6.8% rate recorded in the first quarter of 2008, before the European financial crisis began. Europe’s unemployment rate reached a recent high of 11% in the first and second quarters of 2013. The steady decline since then reflects steady economic improvement in many EU countries.

Europe’s overall unemployment rate fluctuated during the EU financial crisis, which spanned two recessions. Unemployment steadily increased as economic output fell during the first recession, which lasted from the second quarter of 2008 to the second quarter of 2009. Unemployment then continued to increase while output stayed flat through the second recession, which lasted from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2013. Although output grew in the roughly two years between the recessions, unemployment still trended up during this period.

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Topics: Global Migration and Demography, Business and Labor, Europe, Work and Employment

Jul 18, 2018 10:03 am

‘Anger’ topped ‘love’ when Facebook users reacted to lawmakers’ posts after 2016 election

After the 2016 presidential election, Facebook users began using the “angry” button much more often when reacting to posts created by members of Congress.

Volume of angry reactions to congressional posts shows largest increase after 2016 electionBetween Feb. 24, 2016 – when Facebook first gave its users the option of clicking on the “angry” reaction, as well as the emotional reactions “love,” “sad,” “haha” and “wow” – and Election Day, the congressional Facebook audience used the “angry” button in response to lawmakers’ posts a total of 3.6 million times. But during the same amount of time following the election, that number increased more than threefold, to nearly 14 million. The trend toward using the “angry” reaction continued during the last three months of 2017.

Use of the “love” reaction also increased after Election Day, but at a slower rate. Users reacted to congressional posts with the “love” button 7 million times in the period before the election, a figure that rose to about 12 million in the period afterward. While “love” was the most popular new reaction before the election, “angry” became the most popular afterward.

To arrive at these figures, Pew Research Center analyzed all Facebook posts created by members of Congress on or after Feb. 24, 2016, and extending through July 24, 2017 – a total of 360,173 individual posts.

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Topics: Congress, Social Media, Federal Government, Political Polarization, 2016 Election, Data Labs

Jul 17, 2018 11:04 am

A third of U.S. adults say they have used fertility treatments or know someone who has

Triplets Rosalie, Regan and Rocco Mullane, now age 3, were among the many in vitro fertilization children taking part in the Boston IVF Baby Bowl at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Oct. 21. That state had the highest share of births involving assisted reproductive technology in 2015, at 4.5%. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Four decades after the birth of Louise Brown, the first “test-tube baby” conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF), 33% of American adults report that they or someone they know has used some type of fertility treatment in order to try to have a baby, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

About half of college educated adults say they have undergone fertility treatment or know someone who hasThe share of people who say they have undergone a fertility treatment or know someone who has varies markedly by education and income. About four-in-ten (43%) of those with a bachelor’s degree have had some exposure to fertility treatment – either through their own experience or that of someone they know – and the share rises to 56% among those with a postgraduate degree. About half (48%) of people with family incomes of $75,000 or more also have been exposed to fertility treatment. (The survey did not specify what type of treatment.)

Whites are more likely than blacks or Hispanics to report that they have undergone a fertility treatment or know someone who has (37% vs. 22% and 26%, respectively), and women are more likely than men to say the same (36% vs. 30%).

Looking only at women nearing the end of their childbearing years, 9% report that they have ever personally undergone a fertility treatment or had a spouse or partner do so, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of National Center for Health Statistics data. (An additional 5% of these women report that they or their partner sought medical advice or testing regarding fertility, but did not undergo any additional treatments.)

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Topics: Birth Rate and Fertility, Demographics, Family and Relationships, Parenthood

Jul 17, 2018 9:02 am

Use of mobile devices for news continues to grow, outpacing desktops and laptops

About six-in-ten now often get news on a mobile deviceMobile devices have become one of the most common ways Americans get news, outpacing desktop or laptop computers. Roughly six-in-ten U.S. adults (58%) often get news on a mobile device, 19 percentage points higher than the 39% who often get news on a desktop or laptop computer, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

The share of Americans who often get news on a mobile device is nearly triple the 21% who did so in 2013. At the same time, the portion of Americans who often get news on a desktop has remained relatively stable, with 39% of adults often getting news on a desktop or laptop computer, up just 4 percentage points from 2013.

The portion of adults who ever get news on a computer – as opposed to often get news – is about the same as those who ever do so on a mobile device – 88% of Americans ever get news on a mobile device and 84% ever get news on a computer. Overall, 96% of U.S. adults get news online – i.e., ever get news on either a mobile device or computer.

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Topics: News Audience Trends and Attitudes, Mobile, Technology Adoption

Jul 16, 2018 11:01 am

With another Supreme Court pick, Trump is leaving his mark on higher federal courts

Judge Brett Kavanaugh shakes hands with President Donald Trump after being nominated to the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House on July 9. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has successfully appointed more federal appeals court judges so far in his presidency than Barack Obama and George W. Bush combined had appointed at the same point in theirs, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Judicial Center. And with his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Trump soon could install his second justice on the nation’s highest court, too.

But while Trump has already left a considerable imprint on the nation’s higher federal courts, he trails Obama, Bush and other recent presidents in the number of lower-court judges he has appointed to date.

As of July 12, Trump has successfully appointed 43 judges, including one Supreme Court justice (Neil Gorsuch), 22 appeals court judges and 20 district judges. Dozens of other court nominees are awaiting votes in the Senate, including two more appeals court judges who could be confirmed this week.

Trump has appointed more appeals court judges than any other recent president at same point in tenureWhile a few of Trump’s predecessors going back to Jimmy Carter had also appointed a Supreme Court justice by July 12 of their second year in office, none had appointed close to as many appeals court members – the powerful judges who sit just below the Supreme Court level. (Kavanaugh is currently a federal appeals court judge, just as eight of the nine current Supreme Court members were before they became justices.)

Obama and Bush had each appointed nine appeals court judges at this point in their presidencies, while Bill Clinton had appointed 11. George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan came closest to matching Trump’s total with 15 and 14 confirmed appeals court judges, respectively. Carter had appointed 10.

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Topics: Supreme Court, Federal Government, U.S. Political Figures, Donald Trump

Jul 13, 2018 11:01 am

Key public opinion findings on Trump, Putin and the countries they lead

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit in Danang, Vietnam, in November 2017. (Jorge Silva/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet next week in Finland for their first bilateral summit (though they have met in less formal settings on other occasions). Issues on the table could include the NATO military alliance, U.S. sanctions against Russia, the conflict in Syria and the status of Ukraine. Ahead of the summit, here are key findings about Trump and Putin – and the countries they lead – from Pew Research Center surveys.

1Most Americans (68%) express an unfavorable opinion of Putin, but Russians have a relatively positive view of Trump. Just 16% of Americans saw Putin favorably, according to a survey conducted in early 2018, before Putin’s re-election. A quarter of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (25%) said they had a favorable view of Putin, compared with just 9% of Democrats and Democratic leaners. These views have changed little since last year.

For their part, Russian views of both the United States and its president improved dramatically last year compared with the end of the Obama administration, according to a spring 2017 survey. Trump received a higher confidence rating (53%) in Russia than either of his two predecessors ever did. And U.S. favorability more than doubled among Russians between the end of the Obama era (15%) and last year (41%).

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Topics: Non-U.S. Political Leaders, Bilateral Relations, Global Balance of Power, International Threats and Allies, Foreign Affairs and Policy, International Governments and Institutions, Donald Trump