By The Numbers

Unmasking Banksy…maybe

Tobin Low Mar 4, 2016

Happy Jobs Report Friday, everyone! Here are some need-to-know numbers for Friday.


The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. added 242,000 jobs in February, with the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.9 percent. The numbers were stronger than expected, but that’s just part of the story. Wage growth for February fell 0.1 percent, which is significant because in the trajectory of a recovering economy, that’s not what should be happening. So, what gives? Some economists point to a reported “skills gap” — employers complaining they can’t find the skilled talent they need to fill certain jobs.

If we’re talking about specialized work, look no further than the NASA Glenn facility in Cleveland. That’s where engineers are working on a 737 jet that can fly on electric motors. It’s no small feat given a hybrid plane that can carry 10 passengers is estimated to be about 10 years away — trying to create the technology for a 737 is exponentially more difficult, as it is expected to carry at least ten dozen passengers. Still, it makes sense to at least try, as planes contribute a huge amount of pollution to the skies.

Perhaps even more difficult than trying to create a hybrid jet is identifying the famed artist Banksy. But scientists at Queen Mary University of London think they have a good guess. Using geographic profiling, researchers paired the locations of several Banksy works of art with addresses associated with 10 of the most likely candidates. As the BBC writes, a clear front-runner emerged: Robin Gunningham, who was named by the Daily Mail in 2008 as the possible identity of Banksy. Even more intriguing, though perhaps not damning, is news that Banksy’s legal team raised issues with how the results of the study were being promoted.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.