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A driver shakes hands with a demonstrator during a protest march in New York City after a grand jury declined to prosecute a white police officer for the killing Michael Brown. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Data released by Missouri's Attorney General Josh Hawley showed that black drivers in the Missouri are 85% more likely to be pulled over by police than white drivers — the highest percentage the state has seen in the 18 years it has compiled this data, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The report released Friday shows that racial disparity in traffic stops is at its worst since the state began compiling data in 2000. Following the fatal police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, a 2015 Justice Department report said sweeping patterns of racial bias and profiling by police officers is the driving force behind increase revenue in the municipal court system.

The details: The data showed Ferguson’s disparity index was lower than the statewide average even though 88% of the drivers were stopped in Ferguson, reports the AP. Of that amount, 85% arrested were black. Two-thirds of Ferguson’s 21,000 residents are reportedly African-American.

A key finding: University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld, who analyzed the data for the attorney general’s office, said the report show that police are becoming more selective in their traffic stops. He said there's been a decline in the total number of stops in recent years, and that most involved confiscation of weapons, drugs and other contraband.

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The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.