Department of Numbers

Monday January 30, 2012

Private sector GDP growth has been slightly better than the headline number.

Over the last two years, the private sector grew at an average annual rate of 3.2 percent, while the government shrank at an annual rate of 1.4 percent.

The combined result has been economic growth of 2.3 percent.

Tuesday January 10, 2012

Ezra & Co. have been exploring the military component of R&D spending at the Wonkblog over the past few days (followups: 1, 2). It's a timely and complementary view to my latest blog post on Federal R&D spending.

Thursday January 5, 2012

Choosing the right major matters.

Catherine Rampell provides an excellent summary of Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce's new report called: Hard Times: Not all College Degrees are Created Equal. Unemployment rates and median income by major and levels of education and experience are below.

Tuesday January 3, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Science's contribution to culture and prosperity. From a profile by Carl Zimmer.

Tyson believes that the scientific community has to do its part to keep costs down, but he worries that politicians may not recognize that there is value to exploring the universe. The first exposure many people have to science is in a planetarium or on a NASA web site. By learning about black holes or dark energy, people become acquainted with science itself. Some of them go on to become scientists, and others become scientifically literate citizens. And that's how to keep a country thriving.

"There's no greater engine of economic growth than innovations in those fields," Tyson said.