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September 13, 2016

The glut in the supply of oil drove the price of crude down to $26.21 a barrel by 2/11/16, a 29% tumble after just 6 weeks of 2016.  As the price of crude oil dropped, so did the number of rigs operating in the USA, falling 42% YTD through early June of this year.  It was only a matter of time before domestic crude oil stockpiles also started to back up.  The drop of 14.5 million barrels on a week-over-week basis as of Friday 9/02/16 (to 511.4 million barrels) was the largest single weekly decline in American oil stockpiles since January 1999.  Time will tell if the drawdown continues and if the decline eases fears of a global oversupply of crude oil (source: Department of Energy).

The government reported last week that there are 5.9 million job openings nationwide as of 7/31/16, the largest number ever reported for a statistic that has been tracked since December 2000.  That number has climbed 2.2 million (from 3.7 million) in the last 3 years.  For our nation’s 7.8 million out-of-work citizens, the record total of job openings may point to a “shortage of skills” that has kept them on the “outside looking in” (source: Department of Labor).

Our nation’s aging population is having an impact on the top job prospects in the future.  Of the fastest growing occupations expected in the upcoming decade, 9 of the top 12 jobs are in the health care industry, including occupational therapists, physical therapists, home health aides, audiologists and nurse practitioners (source: Department of Labor).

Notable Numbers

DOLLARS IN, DOLLARS OUT – Chicago has more retired policemen and survivors of policemen than they have active police officers.  As of 12/31/15, Chicago had 12,061 working policemen but had 12,528 retired officers and survivors of deceased officers (source: Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago).

JUST A SINGLE PERCENT – Total foreign aid spending by the USA in fiscal year 2016 (i.e., the 12 months that will end 9/30/16) is projected to be $38.8 billion or 1% of our government’s projected spending of $3.951 trillionthat is forecasted for the fiscal year that ends in less than 3 weeks (source: Office of Management and Budget).

HE SAID NO – President Barack Obama has vetoed just 10 bills since taking office more than 7 ½ years ago.  The 10 vetoes, none of which have been overridden, are the fewest by any president since Warren Harding (1921-23).  President Ronald Reagan vetoed 78 bills during his 8 years in office (source: Senate).

WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? – With just 46 people in a room, there is a 95% chance that 2 people in the group have the same birthday (source: BTN Research).

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