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The Economic Perspective 3/31/2023

The Latest Trending Economic, Environmental and Demographic News Curated for You By The Balmoral Group

The Balmoral Group provides practical, professional and precise Economics, Data Analytics, and Engineering Consulting services and is part of a globally integrated team.

Happy Friday, everyone!

For our last Friday of Women’s history month, we would like to highlight Mary Paley Marshall. Mary Paley Marshall was an economist who in 1874 had been one of the first women to take the Tripos examination at Cambridge University. Additionally, she was one of a group of five women who were first to be admitted to Newnham College, a constituent college of Cambridge. Mary Paley Marshall would later help found the teaching of economics at University College, Bristol where she was one of the first women lecturers. This week we have articles on affordable housing, environmental protections for waterways in Washington, a methane eating bacteria, and more. The data visualization is also looking at unemployment for black and Hispanic women workers over the last month. Enjoy the read and feedback is always appreciated! Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested. If you'd like to view previous editions please click here, or to subscribe please click here! Have a great weekend!

Belgium to Have World's First Artificial Wind Energy Island Belgium is building a new six-hectare island in the North Sea that will have a 3.5GW capacity to transform offshore wind energy. The generated electricity will be sent to the mainland through undersea cables and will host interconnectors from the UK and Denmark to connect to other North Sea wind farms. Construction is set to begin next year and completed by August 2026, with the island being fully operational by 2030. Learn more about the project: World Economic Forum; Elia Group

New Environmental Protections for Washington State Rivers and Lakes

Three rivers and one lake in Washington are slated to receive the Outstanding Resource Waters designation later this year. The Cascade River in the North Cascades, the Green River in Lewis and Skamania counties, the Napeequa in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, and Soap Lake near Ephrata were nominated to protect these pristine areas from degradation. This designation comes with the highest level of protection assigned to a water body, according to water quality standards set forth in the Clean Water Act. The Washington State Department of Ecology will consider public comments and make a final decision on whether or not each nominated water body should be adopted. If the designation goes through, any actions that require permits near the river would have to demonstrate they would not lower the water quality. Read More.

Meet the 'Methane Man' with a Mission: Using Microbes to Eat up the Greenhouse Gas A biochemist, Josh Silverman, has been developing an idea for microbes that are methane-eating that would help combat climate-change. With this idea, Josh Silverman has founded Windfall Bio and has received $9 million in funding from Mayfield as well as other investors. Methane remains a significant contributor to climate change being responsible for 30% of the global increase in temperature. The microbes would turn methane into an organic fertilizer to be used by farmers, recycling methane from cows for other uses. Cows remain a large producer of methane, and the organic material these microbes generate means farmers would be the most logical place to start commercialization. Josh hopes to spread to other sources of methane in the future. Read More.

Restoring Certain Wildlife Populations Could Combat Climate Change

A new study found that large animals such as elephants, sharks, whales, and bison capture carbon as effectively as forests. Findings show that although animals don’t make up very much of the carbon on the planet, populations of large animal species such as musk oxen or African forest elephants could collectively capture over 6 gigatons of carbon per year. With increased carbon storage potential, growing the populations of wildlife could potentially lead to combating the effects of climate change, among other benefits. Read more here, and find the study here.

Gov. DeSantis Signs Measure to Boost Affordable Housing

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 102, which aims to incentivize developers to build more affordable housing units. One of the goals of the bill is to provide these individuals the opportunity to live closer to where they work. The bill requires local governments to approve certain types of mixed-use residential proposed housing developments, including those in areas zoned for commercial or industrial land uses. Read more here.

Data Visualization of the Week Unemployment for Black and Hispanic Women Rose in February, but More Workers Join the Labor Force

Last month unemployment rose to 3.6% from 3.4% with certain demographics disproportionately hurt by this increase than others. Unemployment rates for black and Hispanic women saw increases last month from 4.7% to 5.1% and 4.4% to 4.8%, respectively. However, both groups saw an increase in labor force participation rates; a metric that tracks how many workers are employed or actively searching for work. This could suggest a weakness in the labor market with more workers than there are jobs. An explanation for this could be a slow recovery in various industries with a greater representation of black and Hispanic women, such as the public sector and education, as well as leisure and hospitality. Below you can see unemployment for various groups being tracked over the last two years. You can follow the link to interact with the data as well as look at data concerning labor force participation. Read More.


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