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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A new report from the U.S. Department of Labor ranks China as the top country of origin for goods produced through forced labor.

The big picture: China has long utilized prison labor, but new coerced labor schemes targeting Uighurs and other ethnic minorities now taint numerous industries in China.

Details: The Department of Labor's annual report lists the products and their countries of origin that have been traced back to forced labor and child labor.

  • In this year's report, a total of 17 Chinese goods made the list, including artificial flowers, Christmas decorations, clothes, shoes, fireworks, and products made with human hair.

Between the lines: U.S. law prohibits the importation of products made through forced labor. By labeling these categories of products as tainted by forced labor, the U.S. government is indicating it will be scrutinizing supply chains for links to factories that employ unfree labor.

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As the pandemic strengthens, America's labor market weakens, based on the latest monthly jobs report that showed a loss of 140,000 nonfarm payrolls.

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Energy implications of Biden's latest Cabinet picks

Marty Walsh, Gina Raimondo, Merrick Garland (from L to R). Photos: Paul Morigi, Paul Marotta, and Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden's final burst of Cabinet picks could have important roles to play in the new administration's climate change and energy agenda.

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Labor market is moving in the wrong direction

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More than 1 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, even as new applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program fell to their lowest level since March.

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