Economy & Business

Why it matters: After a record economic expansion, the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a recession as unemployment soared to staggering heights. The country now faces urgent questions about how much stimulus is needed for reeling consumers and businesses, and what a recovery might look like.

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Bryan Walsh, author of Future
13 mins ago - Economy & Business

The swoon in college enrollment

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Data: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The pandemic's effects, along with a decline in the number of young adults, have depressed college enrollment, with community colleges bearing much of the brunt.

Why it matters: A college degree is becoming more important as the demand for higher skills sharpens. The drop in college enrollment — which is especially steep for Black and Latino students — is bad news for both the higher education industry and broader social mobility.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
13 mins ago - Economy & Business

The "hub and spoke" future of the office

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

As more companies lean towards a hybrid setup, many are cutting back their headquarters and putting smaller offices close to where workers are.

Why it matters: White-collar employees want flexibility, but they don't necessarily want to keep working from their bedrooms. Smaller satellite offices could give employees places to work without the pre-pandemic commute.

Tech's war for your wrist

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech's biggest companies are ramping up competition for the real estate between your hand and your elbow.

The big picture: The next big hardware platform after the smartphone will likely involve devices for your eyes, your ears and your wrists.

2 hours ago - Health

Health care spending is picking up

Data: Altarum Institute; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic forced hospitals and patients to delay care — everything from heart procedures and knee replacement surgeries to lab tests and X-rays — but people have been flocking back to their doctors as coronavirus cases wane.

Why it matters: A return to normal levels of care means health care spending is back on the rise, which will continue to strain governmental budgets and people's paychecks.

7 hours ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy paper faces closure threat after assets freeze

A protest in support of Apple Daily newspaper outside China's Embassy in London, England, on Thursday. Photo: May James/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong's Apple Daily will close within days because the pro-democracy newspaper's assets have been frozen under China's national security law, an adviser to the company's imprisoned founder Jimmy Lai told media Sunday night.

Why it matters: It's the latest blow to the democratic movement in the Asian financial hub, as Beijing continues to crack down on dissent under the law, which landed Lai and other pro-democracy leaders in jail and led to the arrest last week of five senior Apple Daily executives.

American Airlines cuts hundreds of flights amid demand surge

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

American Airlines announced Sunday that it's cutting some 950 flights from its schedule, including 296 this weekend, to reduce potential pressure on its operations, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

Driving the news: The U.S. vaccine rollout has led to a massive increase in travel bookings. The airline noted in an emailed statement that it's facing an "incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand."

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
10 hours ago - Axios on HBO

United CEO: America could face a pilot shortage

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby tells "Axios on HBO" that America could be headed toward a pilot shortage, because "the military produces far fewer pilots today than they did ... in the Cold War era."

Why it matters: The U.S. travel industry is roaring back, with leisure air travel exceeding pre-pandemic levels, and now must protect itself from future disruptions.

Mike Allen, author of AM
12 hours ago - Axios on HBO

"Axios on HBO": HUD secretary on Black homeownership decline

During a wide-ranging interview for "Axios on HBO," I asked Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge why Black homeownership rates have gone down, while rates for Asians and Hispanics have gone up.

The big picture: "Part of our problem is that we have never totally enforced the Fair Housing Act," Fudge told me during a visit to her native Cleveland.

Tech startups keep workers remote but plan elaborate "bonding trips"

Worker retreats could include swimming with dolphins in Mexico. Photo: Eye Ubiquitous/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Many tech startups are choosing to keep employees working from home and are pivoting to planning several elaborate company retreats per year to allow employees to meet and bond, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.

Why it matters: For many companies, corporate retreats are becoming a necessity as they try to figure out how to maintain company culture with remote employees.

West African bloc plans to launch single currency in 2027

ECOWAS president Jean-Claude Kassi Brou. Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced plans Saturday to launch a single currency in 2027, called the "eco," per Reuters.

The big picture: The pandemic forced the bloc to "suspend the implementation of the convergence pact in 2020-2021," ECOWAS president Jean-Claude Kassi Brou said after a summit of the leaders in Ghana. It's hoped having a common currency will "boost cross-border trade and economic development," DW notes.

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