May 11, 2017

How global carbon emissions changed over time

The issue

With all this talk about whether Trump will pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, the most aggressive agreement among nearly 200 nations to curb carbon emissions, let's put the U.S. contributions to carbon emissions in context.

The Facts

Turns out that as a portion of total global carbon emissions, the U.S. is not currently contributing the most of any country — China is. Even though the U.S. isn't the top contributor, global emissions have been steadily rising over time, although note the recent plateau.

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Data: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios
Why it matters

Even though the U.S. emits much less than China, it is still an influential force in holding other countries that emit much less, and much more, accountable. That influence is part of what's at stake as the U.S. decides whether to stay in the agreement. If Trump stays in the accord, it doesn't necessarily mean the emissions from the U.S. won't spike, as Axios' Amy Harder points out.

Go deeper

HBCUs are missing from the discussion on venture capital's diversity

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Venture capital is beginning a belated conversation about its dearth of black investors and support of black founders, but hasn't yet turned its attention to the trivial participation of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as limited partners in funds.

Why it matters: This increases educational and economic inequality, as the vast majority of VC profits go to limited partners.

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.