Associated Builders and Contractors' 32nd annual National Craft Championships. Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

A new study from the Conference Board predicts corporate profits will decline this year. The group's economists say companies most at risk of profit declines are those that employ many blue-collar workers, "an increasingly scarce yet high-in-demand group."

The intrigue: The study specifically highlights companies in the manufacturing, food service and transportation industries, which are expected to see labor costs eat into profits as blue-collar workers' labor costs are rising much faster than for their highly educated white-collar counterparts.

"Education is the great equalizer, but today's labor market conditions have put a twist on that narrative. Now, with so many people attaining a conventional higher education, companies are having a harder time finding blue-collar workers than white-collar workers. This stark imbalance has helped boost the paychecks of blue-collar workers—and to such an extent that wage inequality has seen a modest decline.”
Gad Levanon, chief U.S. economist at The Conference Board, in a press release

Yes, but: As Axios' Courtenay Brown wrote last month, wages have been surprisingly sluggish throughout the 9-year recovery and finally started growing above 3% toward the end of last year. But they still haven't reached their pre-crisis levels and aren't anywhere close to catching up to soaring profits.

Go deeper: In a shift, Fed isn't slowing rising wages

Go deeper

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Why it matters: Under the threat of a virus, job insecurity, election uncertainty, and a general pandemic life-in-limbo that is upending school, holidays and more, people are especially anxious.

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 7,255,546 — Total deaths: 207,374 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
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Trump pushes back on changes to upcoming presidential debates

Photo: Jim Watson, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump suggested Thursday that he'll resist any moves that could cut off candidates' microphones in the next debate if he continues to talk over his opponent and the moderator.

  • "Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?" he tweeted.

The big picture: White House and campaign officials insist Trump is still committed to two remaining debates, despite fallout from Tuesday including poor reviews and discussions of new guardrails.