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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018

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

$64,451 less

The principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Elizabeth Rowe, sits right next to its principal oboist, John Ferrillo. But she is paid $64,451 a year less than he is. Rowe is suing for gender discrimination and seeking $200,000 in back pay. The orchestra maintains that the oboe is harder to play than the flute, citing supply and demand and a larger pool of flutists from which to draw. Top-earning men in major American orchestras make an average of about $250,000 a year, while top-earning women make about $200,000. [The Washington Post]

41 percent EU players

Brexit could have a big impact on the English Premier League, FiveThirtyEight contributor Laurie Shaw writes. Last season, 41 percent of its soccer players were from the U.K. or Ireland, 41 percent were from other European Union countries, and 18 percent were from non-EU countries. Brexit could end the “freedom of movement of people” and impose new work permit requirements on those EU players. Brexit could conceivably “diminish, perhaps sharply, the number of highly talented European footballers in the Premier League.” [FiveThirtyEight]

3 chiefs of staff

When President Trump replaces outgoing Chief of Staff John Kelly, it will set a record — most chiefs of staff within the first two years of a presidency. That number will be three, for those keeping score. Reince Priebus, Kelly’s predecessor, lasted just more than six months, and Kelly himself not quite a year and a half. “Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. [Brookings]

52-1 vote

The unionized editorial staff of the online magazine Slate voted 52-1 to authorize a strike. The move came after, among other things, the union bristled at the company’s insistence on a so-called right-to-work policy that would make union fees optional, a “policy loathed by liberals and organized labor.” The employees are now reportedly weighing when they might go on strike. [Bloomberg]

9,510 auditors

The IRS has been gutted. Last year, it had 9,510 auditors, down a third from 2010. The rate of audits themselves dropped 42 percent, and the agency’s budget has fallen $2 billion. While I don’t imagine many of you harbor especially warm and fuzzy feelings for the IRS, these are the biggest winners from the now thinly stretched agency, according to ProPublica: corporations and the wealthy. [ProPublica]

39.8 percent of Americans

According to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 39.8 percent of Americans believe stock prices will be higher in a year — that’s the lowest share in the monthly survey since Donald Trump was elected president. Feelings about expected earnings growth and home prices were similarly depressed. [The Washington Post]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

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

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.