AntPool, the largest mining pool mines a lot of empty blocks (quick stat over the last 100 blocks they mined at time of writing shows 20% <10kB).
While I understand that sometimes it is useful to mine an empty block when one has not had time yet to validate all transactions in the previous block. This validation should be very quick compared to the average 10min block time (validating a full block of like 2000 transactions should not take more than a few seconds on a modern PC, no?). So, why the hell is Antpool mining so many empty blocks???
Just to compare, the same stat for the 2nd largest pool, F2Pool, gives only 4% blocks <100kB and 0% <10kB.
EDIT: I pulled out some more stats over the last 500 transactions as of 16/12/2006 11:25 CET - 18 blocks < 5kB (3.6%) - AntPool mined 98 blocks, out of which 16 < 5kB (16.3%) covering almost 90% of empty blocks - Empty blocks came on average 6.6min after the last block so yes faster than the overall average 10mins but still plenty of time to include transactions - Only 16% of these 18 were very quick empty blocks <1min