This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Children can now receive COVID-19 vaccinations, which is good news all around. The economy gained 531,000 jobs in October, showing once again why Congress’ big spending bills are unnecessary. Meanwhile, pundits spent the week analyzing off-year election results. Agencies issued new rules ranging from rural innovation to seafood dealers.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 63 final regulations last week, after 58 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 40 minutes.
  • With 2,750 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,243 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 33 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 61 the previous week.
  • With 1,776 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,094 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,222 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 495 notices last week, after 418 notices the previous week.
  • With 18,911 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,301 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,505 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,394 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 291 pages.
  • With 61,664 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 72,717 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. There are 16 such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020, and four in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from $4.61 billion to $8.40 billion. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 348 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with four in the last week. This is on pace for 410 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 761 new rules affect small businesses; 88 are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.

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