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Jobs data at odds with jobs data

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Data: Institute for Supply Management; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pace of hiring activity in services industries declined in June, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

Why it matters: Labor supply constraints continue to limit the U.S. economy’s ability to grow.

A shorter workweek gets a longer look

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Before the pandemic, the four-day workweek was a pipe dream. Now, it's quickly gaining popularity.

Why it matters: The pandemic underscored burnout's damaging effect on workforces — and how flexibility can mitigate it. One solution is to work fewer days, which could paradoxically boost productivity.

June jobs report was exactly what the markets wanted

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The June jobs report was strong, but not so strong that it stoked fears that the Federal Reserve would scale back on its supportive monetary policies sooner than expected. This sentiment was reflected in the stock market, where the S&P 500 closed at a record high after the news.

Why it matters: The U.S. economy continues to recover as hundreds of thousands of Americans return to work.

The job market's retirement wildcard

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Data: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

As experts attempt to explain why businesses are struggling to hire, some have made the case that the pandemic encouraged older working Americans to retire earlier than expected.

Why it matters: If it's true that retirements are unusually high, then the labor market may have less slack than many assume.

Finding the right mix to make hybrid offices work

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The overwhelming majority of workers and employers want hybrid work with some days in the office and some days away, or even some workers permanently in person and others always remote. But, done imperfectly, such a system could create a two-class system between those in the office and those out of it.

What's happening: Now some firms are starting to figure out what the future of equitable hybrid work and hybrid workplaces could actually look like.

Recovery surprise: sidelined workers stay put

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Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

It's a recovery quirk few saw coming: Vaccines are flowing and there’s fresh proof wages are rising — but it’s not enough to entice more sidelined workers back into the labor force.

What’s new: The economy added an impressive 850,000 jobs last month.

June brings jump in jobs, pickup in pay

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans are going back to work at a faster clip — and getting paid more to do so.

Driving the news: The U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 850,000 jobs in June. Average hourly earnings jumped 3.6% from a year ago, in a continuation of the trend seen over the past two months.

Americans with working spouses less likely to urgently seek jobs

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Reproduced from Indeed Hiring Lab; Chart: Axios Visuals

Having a working spouse has kept many unemployed Americans from scrambling to find a job.

Why it matters: U.S. employers continue to struggle with labor shortages despite employment levels being far below where they were before the pandemic.

Company-wide vacations could be the future of paid time off

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vacation rarely feels like vacation if there's extra work to do before and after to make up for the time taken off. That's why startups and Fortune 500 firms alike are rethinking the structure of paid time off, extending company-wide vacations.

Why it matters: The pandemic exacerbated burnout at work, and that's a major contributor to "the great resignation," in which upward of 40% of workers are actively considering leaving their jobs.

Workers are overcoming COVID fears

Data: U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

COVID-19 fears are receding in the U.S., and this trend will have more and more Americans returning to work.

Why it matters: A slew of factors have kept Americans on the sidelines despite robust demand for workers, leading to labor shortages and inflation in some categories.