Americans spend more on their Fidos and Fluffies each year than they spend on booze or men's clothing.
People shelled out an average of $502 annually on their pets in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares to the $456 they spent on alcohol and $404 they spent on men and boys' clothes.
Just pet food alone cost the average household $183 -- which is more than folks spend on chicken, cereal, bread and candy. Vet services adds another $143.
Though families cut back on their overall spending during the recession and ate out at restaurants less, their spending on pet food remained constant.
Nearly three-quarters of American households own pets. There are about 218 million pets nationwide, not including several million fish.
Not surprisingly, married couples with no children living at home spend the most on pets, while single folks spent the least.
Amid constant stories of sequester-related cuts, here's a rare place where the government is increasing its spending: The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently ramped up its monthly survey of businesses, leading to the highest response rate on record for the February jobs report.
Perhaps that's one reason the revisions were so large.
Here's what happened: When the Labor Department released the jobs report Friday morning, it wasn't just the April numbers that came MOREAnnalyn Kurtz - May 3, 2013 5:51 PM ET
The number of job openings rose in February to 3.9 million, according to the Labor Department's JOLTS report released Tuesday. This is good news if it translates into new hiring in the next few months.
About 12 million Americans were still unemployed in February, which means for every job opening, there are roughly 3.1 unemployed workers.
By this metric, you can see that the job market has improved substantially since 2009, when MOREAnnalyn Kurtz - Apr 9, 2013 2:59 PM ET
The slow, steady decline of unions continued in 2012, when membership shrank by nearly 400,000.
States kept chipping away at unions' power, with the latest blow coming in Michigan, where workers at union-represented employers can now forgo paying dues.
CNNMoney takes a look at unions' recent troubles:
Membership peaked in 1953 and is now at its lowest level in nearly a century.
Women bore the brunt of the decline.
Unions remain more prevalent in government MORETami Luhby - Jan 28, 2013 5:34 PM ET
Last time I checked, 2012 isn't the year of the Third Red Scare. Maybe I'm wrong?
Imagine my surprise when I received a press release in my email this morning, complaining about a woman with ties to "radical Jewish" and "Communist" views infiltrating the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I had to double check my calendar. Yep, it's still 2012.
This inflammatory allegation was not based on the person's career and academic record MOREAnnalyn Kurtz - Jul 19, 2012 3:08 PM ET
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||4.35%||4.35%|
|15 yr fixed||3.77%||3.70%|
|30 yr refi||4.36%||4.33%|
|15 yr refi||3.74%||3.67%|
Today's featured rates:
|Latest Report||Next Update|
|Home prices||Aug 28|
|Consumer confidence||Aug 28|
|Manufacturing (ISM)||Sept 4|
|Inflation (CPI)||Sept 14|
|Retail sales||Sept 14|