Apr 6, 2017

What fuels us

Ben Geman, author of Generate
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Data: U.S. Energy Information Administration Monthly Energy Review; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Want the high-level view on U.S. energy consumption? The U.S. Energy Information Administration has you covered. It's out with data showing total consumption ticked up slightly last year.

  • Fossil fuels: They still rule the roost, accounting for 81 percent of total consumption in 2016, which is slightly less than 2015 and down from 86 percent in 2005. Petroleum and natural gas consumption both climbed last year, but that was more than offset by coal's decline.
  • Renewables: They saw the largest boost in consumption last year as wind power generation rose by nearly 20 percent and solar output climbed a lot as well.
  • Nuclear: Consumption of nuclear energy rose 1 percent last year.

Want a really, really high-level view? Axios pulled years worth of EIA data into the chart above on U.S. energy consumption going back a quarter century. That downward staircase at the bottom illustrates how coal has lost market share at the expense of gas and renewables.

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.