A majority of workers in only four out of the nine grouped industries studied say that, for the most part, the responsibilities of their job can be done from home, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in October. Within these sectors, based on definitions by the U.S. Census Bureau, those saying their job can be done from home include 84% in banking, finance, accounting and real estate, 84% in information and technology, 59% in education and 59% in professional, scientific and technical services.
Among workers in these four industries who say the responsibilities of their job can mainly be done from home, about half or more say they rarely or never teleworked before the pandemic, and this is especially the case among those in the education sector (75% say they rarely or never teleworked). But majorities in all of these industries who say their job can mostly be done from home report that they are now working from home all or most of the time. This includes 90% in the information and technology sector, 75% in professional, scientific and technical services, 74% in banking, finance, accounting and real estate and 61% in education.
The just-concluded 116th Congress wasn’t especially productive in terms of the number of substantive bills it passed during its two years in office. But it set several records for lawmakers’ use of social media, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.
Voting members of the 116th Congress collectively produced more than 2.2 million tweets and Facebook posts in 2019 and 2020. That means the median member of Congress produced more than 3,000 posts across their profiles on the two social media platforms during this span.
In total, the 116th Congress produced roughly 738,000 more social media posts than the 114th Congress of 2015-2016, the first one for which the Center has data.
At the same time, there has been a change in how some parents feel about the amount of time they spend with their children. Specifically, fathers are now more likely to say they spend the right amount of time with their children than they were before the pandemic, when a majority said they spent too little time.
Trump granted 237 acts of clemency during his four years in the White House, including 143 pardons and 94 commutations. Only two other presidents since 1900 – George W. and George H.W. Bush – granted fewer acts of clemency than Trump.
His predecessor, Barack Obama, granted clemency 1,927 times over the course of eight years in office, the highest total of any president going back to Harry Truman. Obama’s total was skewed heavily toward commutations (1,715) instead of pardons (212).
Twelve years after Barack Obama made history as the first Black U.S. president, a Black woman was sworn in as vice president of the United States following the election of Joe Biden. Kamala Harris, who is of mixed Jamaican and Indian heritage, is the first Black American, first person of Asian descent and first woman to hold the second-highest office in the country. Harris’ election represented another advance in the slow but steady progress Black Americans have made in recent decades in gaining a greater foothold in political leadership, particularly in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Cabinets of recent presidents. But they have lagged in the Senate and in governorships.
Many Black Americans view political representation as a potential catalyst for increased racial equality, according to a June 2020 Pew Research Center survey. Four-in-ten Black adults said that working to get more Black people elected to office would be a very effective tactic for groups striving to help Black Americans achieve equality. White adults were less likely to view this as an effective way to bring about increased racial equality (23% said it would be very effective).
Data from the past several decades reveals the upward yet uneven trajectory of Black political leadership in America. In 1965, there were no Black U.S. senators or governors, and only five members of the House of Representatives were Black. As of 2021, there is greater representation in some areas – 57 House members in the new Congress are Black (not including nonvoting delegates and commissioners), putting the share of Black House members (13%) about on par with the share of the overall U.S. population that is Black. But in other areas, there has been little change: There are three Black senators – the same number as in 2019 – and no Black governors.
The first Black U.S. senator, Hiram R. Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, was chosen by his state’s Legislature to fill an empty seat. He served for a year, from 1870 to 1871. In total, 11 Black Americans have served in the Senate, including three currently in office. This is the same number as in the previous Congress, since Harris moved from the Senate to the White House and Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, became the first Black senator from Georgia. Until 2013, no two Black senators had been in office at the same time.
The share of Black members in a presidential Cabinet was at or above parity with the population during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations and Obama’s second term, and this will be the case if all of Biden’s nominees are approved. But there was only one Black Cabinet secretary during the Trump administration, and the same was true during Obama’s first term.
The current 117th Congress includes 57 Black representatives, a record high and a large increase since 1965. Only two of these 57 representatives are Republicans. Two nonvoting delegates, representing the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are Black. Only five representatives were Black in 1965, and all were Democrats.
Black U.S. House members, 1965-2021
Number of U.S. representatives who are Black
Note: Shows the number of Black representatives at the outset of each term of Congress. The data does not include nonvoting delegates or commissioners.
The highest level of Black representation in a presidential Cabinet occurred during Bill Clinton’s first term, when four out of 15 Cabinet appointees were Black. Since then, the share of the Cabinet that is Black has fluctuated. In Obama’s first term and Donald Trump’s presidency, only one Cabinet member was Black, but under George W. Bush’s first term and Obama’s second, the share of the Cabinet that was Black exceeded the Black share of the overall U.S. population. If Biden’s slate of nominees is confirmed by the Senate, his Cabinet will include three Black members – Harris as vice president, Lloyd Austin as the first Black secretary of defense, and Marcia Fudge as secretary of housing and urban development.
Black U.S. Cabinet members
% of Cabinet members who are Black
Nixon, term 1
Nixon, term 2
Reagan, term 1
Reagan, term 2
Clinton, term 1
Clinton, term 2
G.W. Bush, term 1
G.W. Bush, term 2
Obama, term 1
Obama, term 2
Note: Percentage for Biden’s Cabinet is based on his nominees as of Jan. 22, 2021, before the confirmation process was finalized. All other percentages are based on the maximum number of Black Cabinet members serving concurrently in a given administration out of the total number of Cabinet members in that administration. In this analysis, the Cabinet includes the vice president and heads of federal agencies; it does not include Cabinet-level officials. The number of Cabinet positions has changed over time.
There are no Black governors in office today, and there have been none since Deval Patrick retired in 2015. In fact, there have been only four in U.S. history. Pinckney Pinchback served as a governor of Louisiana for 35 days in the 1870s following Henry Clay Warmoth’s impeachment. Virginia, Massachusetts and New York each had a Black governor during the 1990s and 2000s – Douglas Wilder, Deval Patrick and David Paterson, respectively. The latter two were the first to serve simultaneously, from 2008 to 2010. Three Black candidates – including two seeking to become the first Black female governor – are part of a crowded field vying to be elected governor of Virginia in November 2021.
Note: This is an update of a post originally published June 28, 2016, and previously updated on Jan. 18, 2019.
Online harassment is often subjective when it comes to how people perceive the unpleasant or offensive behaviors that they encounter. Indeed, a notable share of Americans who have personally been targets of troubling online behaviors would not label their experience as “online harassment,” according to a new Pew Research Center report.
The Center’s survey conducted last September measured online harassment by asking respondents if they had personally experienced any of the following: offensive name-calling, purposeful embarrassment, stalking, physical threats, sexual harassment and sustained harassment. But in order to get a better understanding of how subjective this concept is, targets of these behaviors were asked if they considered their most recent incident to be “online harassment.”
Post-general election meetings of Congress, which have become routine in recent decades, are commonly known as “lame-duck” sessions. The unflattering descriptor alludes to the senators and representatives who have lost reelection or whose terms are almost up but can still help make laws for a few more weeks.
Lame-duck sessions historically were used to wrap up pending business, and more recently to cut last-minute budget deals. But none in the nearly five decades for which data is available has been as legislatively productive as the lame-duck session of the 116th Congress, which wrapped up on Jan. 3.
More than four-in-ten bills that became law out of the 116th Congress (151 of 344, or 44%) were passed in the final two months of its two-year term. That’s the highest share of lame-duck legislation since at least the 93rd Congress of 1973-74, the first years of our analysis. Among the bills enacted during the recent lame-duck session was a $900 billion economic relief bill that had been the subject of a congressional standoff for months leading up to Election Day.
Although about one-in-five U.S. adults are Catholic and Catholicism has long been one of the nation’s largest religious groups, John F. Kennedy was the only Catholic president until Biden was sworn in on Jan. 20. Aside from Biden, only one other Catholic, John Kerry, has been a presidential nominee on a major party ticket since Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
So it was difficult to predict how the events of Jan. 6 – when rioters rampaged through the U.S. Capitol – might affect the public’s view of Trump in the Center’s survey, which was conducted in the days afterward. The 9-point fall in approval was the largest change between two Pew Research Center polls since Trump took office.
Most of the decline occurred among Republicans, the majority of whom were strongly supportive of Trump. How can we know that the change reflected a real shift in public opinion and was not an artifact of the poll itself, such as the possibility that some Republicans were less willing to be surveyed because of the events of Jan. 6?
Following the passage of a second stimulus package in December in response to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, 79% of U.S. adults say another economic assistance package will be necessary. Just 20% say another package will not be needed.
The level of support for an additional package today is nearly identical to the share of Americans (80%) who said more coronavirus aid was needed in the weeks leading up to passage of a $900 billion stimulus bill late last year, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
While majorities of both Republicans and Democrats say they think another economic assistance package will be necessary, Republicans are less likely to say this.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.