Derek Thompson

Millennials: Not So Cheap, After All

For a while, young people were taking public transit and using car-sharing apps instead of buying cars. But now they're heading to the dealership, just like their parents.

Rich People Are Great at Spending Money to Make Their Kids Rich, Too

The poor spend relatively more on what will keep them alive, because they must, and the rich spend more on what will keep them rich, because they can.

Americans Love Big Hot Suburbs

The neighborhoods outside of sunny metro areas are gobbling up the country, just like they were before the Great Recession.

The Richest Cities for Young People: 1980 vs. Today

History often intervenes with extrapolated trends, making it hard to predict what the best cities for young people will be in the future.

Where Did All the Retail Jobs Go?

Since 2007, the private sector has added 2.4 million new jobs. Retail has lost 60,000.

The Uber Economy

Is the company destroying full-time work, entrenching us in part-time purgatory, or empowering America's most independent workers?

The Incredible Shrinking Incomes of Young Americans

Millennials aren't saving money because they aren't making money.

Choose One, Millennials: Upward Mobility or Affordable Housing

The paradox of the American Dream: The best cities to get ahead are often the most expensive places to live, and the most affordable places to live can be the worst cities to get ahead.

The Rise of Invisible Unemployment

Three theories about today's biggest economic mystery: If unemployment is shrinking, why aren't wages growing?

Why Middle-Class Americans Can't Afford to Live in Liberal Cities

Blue America has a problem: Even after adjusting for income, left-leaning metros tend to have worse income inequality and less affordable housing.

Should Super-Weaponized Police Wear Cameras?

Journalists and citizens have a right to record law-enforcement officers. But should we require police to record themselves?

The U.S. Economy Finally Hit a Historic Milestone—and It Doesn't Matter

This is what the longest jobs recovery in American history looks like.

Are Student Loans Really Killing the Housing Market?

It's obvious: Student debt is crushing demand for homes. So, why doesn't the realtor data show it?

The Mysterious Death of Entrepreneurship in America

A tale of two definitions of entrepreneur—one thriving, one flailing.

Why America's Essentials Are Getting More Expensive While Its Toys Are Getting Cheap

The past decade in prices—and the story it tells about poverty and America.

The Sad, Slow Death of America's Retail Workforce

There's never been a better time to be a consumer. But it's not such a happy story for the people behind the counters.

Why 'the Next Silicon Valley' Is Always Silicon Valley

How stars and spillovers make great cities and great companies.

How the Rich and Poor Spend Money

Since 1984, education spending has nearly doubled as a share of a richer family's budget. And rent has nearly doubled as a share of a poorer family's spending.

8 Facts About the U.S. Sex Economy

Pimps in Atlanta take in more than $30k per week, but only 14 percent reported spending some of it on condoms, according to a massive new report from the Urban Institute.