An Aging U.S. Population Is on the Rise as Fewer Children Are Born

By Staff
Friday, June 2, 2023 2:01 PM The U.S. population is aging and having fewer children, according to a new report from the Census Bureau. The 2020 Census Demographic and Housing Characteristics (DHC) data report released in May found that the Baby Boom generation (born 1946-1964) and Millennials (born 1982-2000), the two largest U.S. cohorts in 2020, continued to age over the last 20 years, however, the number children born between 2010 and 2020 was significantly smaller. 

The current population pyramid shows the U.S. population now sits at around 330 million, up 22.7 million from 20120. It also indicates that the Baby Boomer population takes up a significant portion of the pyramid, while the number of Millennials and those in their early 20s and 30s have declined. The number of children under the age of 5 has also dropped due to a decrease in birth rates in the U.S.

Importance of Workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vary Among U.S. Workers

By Staff
Thursday, June 1, 2023 1:33 PM Workplace diversity, equity and inclusion efforts (DEI) are increasingly becoming part of national political debates. For a majority of employed U.S. adults (56 percent), focusing on increasing DEI at work is a good thing, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. But opinions about DEI vary considerably along demographic and political lines.

Most workers have some experience with DEI measures at their workplace. About six-in-ten (61 percent) say their company or organization has policies that ensure fairness in hiring, pay or promotions, and 52 percent say they have training or meetings on DEI at work.

Smaller shares say their workplace has a staff member who promotes DEI (33 percent), that their workplace offers salary transparency (30 percent), and that it has affinity groups or employee resource groups based on a shared identity (26 percent). Majorities of those who have access to these measures say each has had a positive impact where they work.

Spending for Public School Students Is on the Rise in U.S.

By Staff
Wednesday, May 31, 2023 11:53 AM Public school spending is on the rise according to the 2021 Annual Survey of School System Finances recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Average spending per student rose to $14,347, up 6.3 percent since 2008. This spending increase represents the 10th year in a row the nation saw an increase in per public spending. 

Of the 100 largest school systems by enrolment, the districts with the highest spending per pupil in 2021 were Boston City Schools in Massachusetts at $31,397; New York City School District in New York at $29,931; Washington Schools in the District of Columbia at $24,535; and Los Angeles Unified in California at $18,179.

3.5 Million Children Are Injured Each Year While Playing Sports

By Staff
Tuesday, May 30, 2023 10:25 AM More than 3.5 million children are injured each year playing sports, according to the Stanford Medicine Children’s Health and the Safe Kids Campaign. These injuries often result in lost play time or the inability to play anymore. However, the numbers remain positive. With more than 30 million children playing sports each year, injuries account for just 11 percent of players. 

The lowest level of sports injuries were in ice hockey, which saw 20,000 children between the ages of 5 and 14 seeking treatment and sledding, which saw 16,000 seek medical care. 

Baseball had one of the highest death rates, with 110,000 children seeking medical care and three to four children dying each year.

Report Shows Food Waste Is Growing in the U.S.

By Staff
Friday, May 26, 2023 10:41 AM Americans continue to be wasteful with their food, according to a new report from Recycle Track Systems. The report found that Americans waste 60 billion tons of food, which is the equivalent to 120 billion pounds.

More than 40 percent of the entire U.S. food supply winds up unused. To put the numbers into perspective, this equals 325 pounds of food waste per person, per year.  

Experts with the RTS said too many Americans are impulsive with food purchases or simply buy more than they are able to consume, unlike their global counterparts. They said that Americans also underutilize leftovers and food scraps, which can often be consumed. 

Recently, legislators in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont have passed laws that restrict the amount of food waste going to landfills. Vermont’s “Universal Recycling Law,” banning food scrap waste entirely, triggered an increase in food bank donations by 40 percent.

Texas and New Mexico Top U.S. Crude Oil Production in 2022

By Staff
Thursday, May 25, 2023 2:19 PM A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration finds that Texas and New Mexico were the top producers of crude oil in 2022. Crude oil production rose 5.6 percent in the U.S. in 2022, reaching nearly 12 million barrels per day. 

The largest production was found in the Permian Basin, which spans both Texas and New Mexico. 

This is the third consecutive year that oil production grew more in New Mexican than other states. Production in New Mexico grew by 0.3 million barrels a day to reach 1.6 million barrels per day. 

Year over year, crude oil production rose in the early part of 2023, averaging 1.2 million barrels per day. Experts believe that cruise oil production will continue to rise over the next two years, reaching up to 12.5 million barrels in 2023 and 12.7 million in barrels per day in 2024.

The South Is One of the Fast-Growing Areas in the U.S.

By Staff
Wednesday, May 24, 2023 2:07 PM The South is now home to 15 of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. according to a new report from the Census Bureau, with six of these cities located in Texas. 

Santa Cruz, California was behind Georgetown, Texas with a population increase of 12.5 percent. Kyle, Leander and Little Elm, Texas also made the top 15 list. 

Texas was the only state to see more than three cities on both the 15 fastest-growing large cities and towns by numeric change and by percent change lists. 

Three new cities were added to the list of places with 50,000 people or more, including Wake Forest, North Carolina; Rockwall, Texas and Eagle Mountain, Utah.

SNAP Recipients Face Unstable Job Prospects, New Report Shows

By Staff
Tuesday, May 23, 2023 11:40 AM The number of Supplement Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) recipients facing unstable job status continues to grow, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. More than 40 million Americans receive SNAP assistance, which allows individuals to receive assistance for up to 36 months if they do not meet the 20 hour per week work requirement.

The report found that SNAP participants tended to have higher job turnover and fluctuating hours. They were also more likely to have low paying jobs and were frequently changing jobs.

Experts believe more open regulations would allow people to access SNAP to ensure they have assistance when they need it and are not cut off before they can return to work.

Job Satisfaction Hits New High Among U.S. Employees

By Staff
Monday, May 22, 2023 1:29 PM A new survey released by The Conference Board found that U.S. employees’ job satisfaction overall is the highest it has ever been since the survey began in 1987. Results from the annual survey put overall job satisfaction at 62.3 percent in 2022.

The greatest satisfaction rate gains came in what the Board refers to as “experience of work” factors—American employees are now happier with their work/life balance and workload, for example, and contentment with compensation and workplace benefits also saw rises last year.

Job Rate Continues to Improve as Unemployment Remains Low

By Staff
Friday, May 19, 2023 10:40 AM The job rate continues to improve, according to a new report from the National Association of Convenience Stores. More than 517,000 new jobs were added to the workforce in January, as unemployment remains at historic lows. 

The Dow Jones had estimated that 187,000 jobs would be added. These revised numbers continue to be a sign that the economy is turning around in the face of recession and high inflation. The current jobless rate sits at around 3.4 percent, while the labor force participation rate remains around 62 percent. 

The current jobless rate sits at around 3.4 percent, while the labor force participation rate remains around 62 percent. 

As of the last business day in March, there were 9.6 million job openings available. The number of separations and workers leaving jobs reached 3.9 million, however, the number of layoffs and discharges increased to 1.8 million.

Record Number of Travelers Expected This Memorial Day Weekend

By Staff
Thursday, May 18, 2023 9:49 AM Americans are ready to hit the roads this Memorial Day weekend. According to new statistics from the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 42 million Americans are slated to travel 50 miles or more from their home during the holiday weekend. This is a 7 percent increase over 2022.
An additional 2.7 million people are expected to travel this summer compared to last summer, showing that COVID-19 is no longer playing a significant role in people’s travel plans. 

This year’s top domestic destinations are Orlando, New York City and Las Vegas.

The Vision Council Releases 2023 Q1 Consumer inSights Report Highlighting Comparative Demographic Trends

By Staff
Thursday, May 18, 2023 12:30 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Today, The Vision Council released a new report examining the differences in U.S. consumers’ eyecare journeys. The 2023 first quarter Consumer inSights report found several key differences in how generations utilize optical care and exercise purchasing power within the optical industry. “While certain eye trends span every demographic, today’s report is critical in helping us better understand consumer trends from a cross-generational perspective,” said Alysse Henkel, senior director of Market Research and Analytics at The Vision Council.

Women Outnumbered Men Working From Home During Pandemic

By Staff
Wednesday, May 17, 2023 12:27 PM Women worked at home at a higher rate than their male counterparts during COVID-19, according to findings from a new report released by the Census Bureau this week. According to the data, the number of women working from home increased once the pandemic began to take hold. 

People were sent home to work in an effort to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. This increased the number of people working from home from 5.7 percent prior to COVID-19 to nearly 18 percent by 2021. This was an increase of 19 million workers. 

Experts believe the rapid expansion of home-based work will provide insight into learning about the relationship between working work and the workplace.

In-House Advertising Agencies on the Rise

By Staff
Tuesday, May 16, 2023 2:46 PM In-house ad agencies may no longer be just a trend—with 82 percent of Association of National Advertisers (ANA) members reporting that they now have an in-house agency compared to 78 percent in 2018, according to a new ANA study. The study, “The Continued Rise of the In-House Agency: 2023 Edition" is conducted every five years. In 2013, the study revealed 58 percent of respondents indicated they had in-house advertising capabilities, while in 2008 the figure was 42 percent.

An “in-house agency” was defined in the report as “a department, group, or person that has responsibilities that typically are performed by an external advertising or other MarCom agency” and did not include internal public relations resources. The survey was fielded in February and March of 2023, with 162 respondents participating.

“This report definitively shows that in-house agencies have become a firmly entrenched part of the holistic marketing ecosystem and are now a mainstay among a majority of marketers,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “Agencies still play an important role for marketers, witnessed by the fact that 92 percent of respondents still use them. But the growth of in-house capabilities has clearly changed the client/agency relationship over the past 15 years.”

The study showed that workloads for in-house agencies continue to increase with 88 percent of respondents indicating their in-house shops’ workload increased in the past year, including 67 percent who said the workload had increased “a lot.” In the 2018 survey, 90 percent of respondents reported increased workload.

Deadline Approaching for Submissions to VM's 2023 Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers Report

By Staff
Tuesday, May 16, 2023 12:15 AM NEW YORK—The deadline of May 18 is approaching for submissions to Vision Monday's signature Annual Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers Report, which will be published in its upcoming June print/digital edition this year. The industry's leading news platform is kicked off its annual survey among regional and national retailers for the exclusive report, which will collect and present sales and operations data for the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2022. Noted Marge Axelrad, SVP/editorial director of Vision Monday, "Given the still-challenging business climate of the past year, it’s important that we collect information directly from as many optical retailers as we can, so we can best manage the task of developing VM estimates for companies and their businesses.