Jul 25, 2017

Why mainstream news sites are so damn slow

A Princeton study from earlier this year found that mainstream news websites use more third-party ad tech vendors than any other type of website: sports, shopping, adult, etc. Ad tech can slow down publisher sites if there are too many cookies dropped on a page, or if they're using certain techniques to capture data.

Going in-house: As a result, some mainstream news publishers are trying to reduce clutter by building their own proprietary ad tech to replace third-party vendors. Bloomberg and The Washington Post have have both been able to reduce page load times significantly by bringing ad tech in-house over the past few months.

News publishers and advertisers are both economically incentivized at this point to cut out the "middle men" in the digital advertising supply chain. Procter & Gamble Chief Brand officer Marc Pritchard told Axios last week he thinks only 40% of ad dollars make it to publishers after ads are done going through ad tech middle men.

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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.