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Significant Digits For Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

0.9 percent

Productivity in the United States rose 0.9 percent in the second quarter, up from 0.1 percent in the first quarter. [The Wall Street Journal]

60 pillows

What does it take to be a pillow tester? Patience. Perseverance. Determination. Finding the perfect pillow isn’t easy, and involves a lot of trial and error. In this case it turns out that the 60th time’s a charm, as experts had to test 60 pillows on their quest to find the perfect one. We’ll save you the time and effort… you can find your perfect pillow right here. Sponsored by Casper

40 shows

Today Facebook is unveiling its new Watch feature, which will have about 40 different shows from online publishing partners. The service is likely to debut in full on Aug. 28. [Business Insider]

46.5 percent

Quick check-in on generic-ballot polling while Congress takes its summer break: As of Wednesday, when Americans are asked whom they’d support in a congressional election, a generic Democrat is pulling 46.5 percent support compared to 37.1 percent going for a generic Republican. [FiveThirtyEight]

85 percent

President Trump’s approval rating among likely Alabama Republican primary voters, which, whoa that’s high. This is helpful for interim Sen. Luther Strange, who scored a Trump endorsement in the Alabama primary happening next week to replace former Alabama senator and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. [FiveThirtyEight]


Prominent Trump donor Robert Mercer is donating $300,000 to a primary rival of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in Arizona. [POLITICO]

$35 billion

Contribution that international students make to the U.S. economy. With 39 percent of American schools seeing a decline in international applications over the last year, Canada may potentially benefit from the windfall. The University of Toronto, the largest university in Canada, has seen applications from abroad increase 20 percent. [CNBC]

If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.