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Monday, January 17, 2022

Notations On Our World (Weekly Edition): On the Year That Was.....


On this Martin Luther King 2022 here in the United States, we begin with a sentiment we embrace as a team in this spirit as we present a snapshot of the Year that was courtesy the team at USAFacts: 

How did the economy perform in 2021? 

Many words describe the 2021 US economy; historic might be one of them. However, we at USAFacts believe the best way to describe the economy is with numbers. So, we dug into the data: here are the metrics on how the American economy performed last year. 
  • November 2021 marked the nation’s all-time highest quits rate, breaking a record just set months earlier in September. (The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines the quits rate as the number of quits per month divided by the total number of employees.)
  • Even before the pandemic, leisure and hospitality had the highest quits rates of any industry. In 2021, workers in the industry quit at the highest rates in 20 years. The leisure and hospitality quits rate peaked at 6.2% in September and was 5.7% in October.
  • Total job openings reached 10.1 million in October 2021. From 2000 to 2020, the nation had a monthly average of 4.6 million openings.
  • Inflation reached a 65-year high in November. By then, 2021’s annual inflation average was 3.3 percentage points higher than the 2020 annual average and 5 percentage points higher than 2019. 

Get the full recap here, including numbers on the downward trend in unemployment and the uptick in hourly earnings.


What states enacted abortion laws in 2021? 

The Supreme Court heard arguments on two abortion laws last year: Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act (originally passed in 2018) and the Texas Heartbeat Act. While these laws attracted a lot of attention, dozens of states also enacted abortion access laws in 2021. USAFacts recently detailed the various actions states took, including:

  • Five states restricted insurance coverage of abortion. Alaska, for example, banned using Medicaid funds to pay for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or if the pregnant person’s life is endangered. Wyoming prevented the University of Wyoming and state community colleges from funding abortions with their health insurance programs. Arkansas, Idaho, and Montana also restricted access.
  • Arkansas passed 10 acts on abortion, including The Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits abortion in cases of rape and incest. The only exception is when the pregnant person’s life is endangered.
  • Meanwhile, New Mexico repealed its trigger law that banned abortion if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Virginia revoked a ban on state insurance covering abortion, while Washington mandated that any college health insurance offering maternity care also include abortion services coverage. Colorado and Hawaii also passed laws that expanded access.

One last fact

As of January 1, the Omicron variant accounted for 95.4% of US coronavirus cases, followed by Delta and Alpha.

Click here to learn more about the pandemic where you live, including demographics on cases and vaccinations.

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