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Photo by DNCC via Getty Images. Photo: Handout/DNCC via Getty Images

Last night's historic debut of the virtual Democratic National Convention gave Americans a taste of what politics looks like without the big crowds.

Why it matters: Without the glamour of a convention stage, many of the speeches felt flat. The major exception was Michelle Obama's speech, which stood out as the most compelling fifteen minutes of the night by far.

How it looked: The virtual event featured far more voices and faces of everyday Americans, but the videos made for less compelling TV.

  • The mostly-taped event left little little room for funny gaffes or inter-personal moments, like handshakes and hugs, although several tech issues during live shots provided some of that touch.

Who aired it: MSNBC and CNN carried the full convention from roughly 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fox News ran Sean Hannity's show from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m and then took the convention live in the 10 p.m. hour. Hannity played parts of speeches and commented on them with panelists on his show.

Our thought bubble: It was clear that some of the virtual cuts were built for social moments, but few really went viral. The biggest social media moment was probably Michelle Obama's speech.

Get the latest with Axios' DNC dashboard.

Go deeper

Aug 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

2020 elections: TV ratings were down for both the RNC and DNC

Data: Nielsen; Note: Night one of the 2008 and 2012 conventions were pushed due to hurricanes; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Increasing partisanship, competing streaming options and the mostly virtual nature of this year's programming may help explain why TV ratings for both conventions were way down compared with 2016.

Why it matters: Ratings are not a proxy for popularity or voter enthusiasm, but they do provide a loose sense of which party and figures are capturing the attention of the country.

U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The economy added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3% to 6.2%, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Why it matters: The first Biden-era jobs report shows hiring surged as coronavirus cases eased — though a full recovery remains far off. Economists expected the economy to add roughly 182,000 jobs last month, after adding a paltry 49,000 in January.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.