THE WEEK IN FIGURES
We’re putting together the numbers to know from the week’s biggest business news so you can impress yourself and your friends.
Get together, folks, it’s that time of the week again. Many of you may meet family and friends that you haven’t seen in a while after the pandemic was isolated, which means you need some fascinating facts to sprinkle into all of those new conversations.
This week’s topics range from the Bitcoin revolution in El Salvador to mass youth unemployment in Oman to an increase in child labor around the world and a slowing birth rate in China. And who could forget the gold coin that broke records by selling for $ 18.9 million? Not exactly the stupid change!
So here’s our roundup of the week’s biggest numbers essential to keeping your conversations with friends and loved ones interesting, mundane, and maybe even fun. Do you remember the fun?
That’s the number of users of Bitcoin Beach, a crypto pilot project in the small Salvadoran seaside town of El Zonte. And those numbers will likely rise after the president of the Central American nation announced he would become the first to use Bitcoin as legal tender this week.
Bitcoin Beach has educated the community on how to use digital currency in day-to-day transactions, as Al Jazeera’s Kaelyn Forde reports, but the Salvadoran president’s decision may be more than it looks.
This is the staggering level that Oman’s youth unemployment rate reached in 2019, according to World Bank figures.
Young people took to the streets last month to demand more economic opportunities just weeks after the country introduced austerity measures meant to offset Oman’s growing debt. Al Jazeera’s Sean Mathews writes that what is happening in Oman is likely to spill over to other oil-dependent Gulf economies, hit by the collapse in oil prices that began at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Oddly enough, while youth unemployment has skyrocketed in some areas, child labor has also increased – an increase unprecedented in nearly two decades. A new United Nations report released this week found that around 160 million children around the world are working – 8.4 million more in the past four years. The figures are “a wake-up call,” said the head of the International Labor Organization.
The loss of work or income for a parent or guardian and school closures have pushed millions of children into the workforce, and the problem could become worse if governments do not act.
China’s fertility rate per woman slowed in 2020, although Beijing relaxed its strict one-child policy and allowed families to have up to three children. But as Al Jazeera’s Michael Standaert reported this week, the birth rate is expected to hover around that level unless Chinese authorities make it easier for families to afford children.
$ 11.2 billion
This is the scale of trade between Israel and China – a significant spike from the $ 1 billion level of trade at the turn of the century. China is now just behind the United States as Israel’s largest trading partner. But the flourishing economic ties made things interesting, diplomatically speaking, reports Sean Mathews of Al Jazeera.
Israel has looked past China’s vocal support for Palestine, and Israeli leaders haven’t paid much attention to China’s response to the Gaza war last month, which as said an Israeli expert, is seen as lip service in Tel Aviv. But there are also dangers. Israel could sacrifice its own security as well as Washington’s unwavering support by pursuing closer relations with Beijing, writes Mathews.
$ 18.9 million
That’s the price of a gold coin at a record-breaking Sotheby’s auction in New York on Tuesday. Well, not just any old coin. The 1933 Double Eagle was the last American gold coin minted for circulation. With a face value of $ 20, it was designed at the behest of then-US President Theodore Roosevelt.
But all of the Double Eagles of 1933 were destroyed when President Franklin Roosevelt, in an effort to lift the American economy out of the depths of the Great Depression, pulled the nation off the gold standard. Only two survived to be sent to the Smithsonian – and one remained in private hands. With Liberty advancing on one side and an American eagle on the other, it’s truly a beauty.