State of the Nation

*Any statements in this issue of the Watch which are not sourced are mine and identified by “WW”.

67% of registered voters say the country is on the wrong track, that includes 61% of men and 66% of women.

20% of registered voters say the country is headed in the right direction. This includes 25% of men and 15% of women. [YouGov 12/8/20]

Here is how Americans blame media institutions for political divisions in this country.

Great deal Fair amount Not much Not at all
Major internet companies 69% 21% 7% 2%
National cable TV news 65% 26% 7% 2%
National network TV news 41% 21% 28% 9%
National newspapers 39% 22% 29% 8%
Radio 16% 31% 40% 11%
Local TV news 12% 22% 48% 17%

How much interest do Americans have in learning about the opinions of people who disagree politically?

Great deal Fair amount Not much Not at all
Americans overall 25% 51% 18% 6%
Democrats 23% 54% 19% 4%
Ind. 34% 50% 11% 5%
Republicans 20% 49% 21% 10%

[Gallup/Knight Foundation 11/15/20]

49% of Americans say the bible should have a great deal or some influence on the laws of the United States, including 28% who say it should take precedence when it conflicts with the will of the people. [PEW 12/12/20]

For the first time since at least the great depression, a majority of young adults in the United States were living with their parents this year. [PEW 12/12/20]


The official BLS seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November 2020 is 6.7%. That unemployment rate is lower than the 10.2% rate in July, 8.4% in August, 7.9% in September, and greater than the 3.5% unemployment rate of a year ago.

If one considers the total number of unemployed + those marginally attached to the labor force + those working part-time who want full-time work, the unemployment rate is 12.0%, down from 16.5% in July, 14.2% in August, 12.8% in September and up from 6.8% a year ago.

245,000 jobs were created in November.

The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) for November is 61.5%, down from 63.2% in 2019. [BLS 12/20]

The Demographics of Unemployment for November 2020

Unemployment by Gender (20 years and older)

  • Women –5.4. (down from last month)
  • Men –5.9% (up from last month)

Unemployment by Race

  • White – 5.9% (down from last month)
  • Black –10.3% (down from last month)
  • Hispanic – 8.4% (down from last month)
  • Asian –6.7% (down from last month)

Unemployment by Education (25 years & over)

  • Less than high school –9.0% (down from last month)
  • High School –7.7% (down from as last month)
  • Some college – 6.3% (down from last month)
  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher – 4.2% (same as last month)

In October, 33 states had unemployment rates below the national average of 6.9%; 15 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had unemployment rates that were above the national average. The unemployment in two states is even with the national average.

The state with the highest unemployment rate is Hawaii at 14.3%.