This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Photo Credit: Getty

The Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate again, though it remains less than the rate of inflation. Employment increased by 261,000 in October, though the unemployment rate increased to 3.7 percent. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from seafood dealers to arresting reporters.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 56 final regulations last week, after 48 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours.
  • With 2,627 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,098 final regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 3,257 new final regulations in 2021, President Biden’s first year, and 3,218 in 2020, President Trump’s final year.
  • Agencies issued 37 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 36 the previous week.
  • With 1,720 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,028 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021 and 2,094 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 441 notices last week, after 487 notices the previous week.
  • With 19,176 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,613 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,584.
  • Last week, 1,414 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,683 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 314 pages.
  • With 66,933 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 78,930 pages. For comparison, the 2021 Federal Register totals 74,352 pages and 2020’s is 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 37 such rules so far in 2021, two from the past week.
  • That is on pace for 44 economically significant regulations in 2022.
  • For comparison, there were 26 economically significant rules in 2021 and five in 2020.
  • The total cost of 2022’s economically significant regulations so far is for net savings of $12.48 billion to $19.59 billion, according to numbers provided by the agencies themselves. However, that figure is incomplete. Three economically significant rules issued this year do not give the required cost estimates.
  • For comparison, the running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules is for net costs of $41.30 billion to $73.49 billion. The 2020 figure is for 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.
  • There are 216 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. That is on pace for 255 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021 and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 734 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 862. Sixty-one of them are significant, on pace for 72.
  • For comparison, there were 912 rules in 2021 affecting small businesses, with 101 of them classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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