Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it would use its might to shed light on the downbeat conditions plaguing rural America.

Why it matters: It's another example of the sea change among monetary policymakers, who are starting to consider issues they haven't focused on before — like the plight of people in low-income communities and climate change — as they make huge decisions about the economy.

Driving the news: The Richmond Fed, one of the central bank's 12 outposts around the country, hosted its first event focused on rural America, drawing local business leaders and local politicians.

  • The Richmond Fed’s district, which runs from Maryland through South Carolina, plus most of West Virginia, is comprised of rural towns that have higher unemployment rates than neighboring urban centers, as well as lower education levels and meager population gains after years of declines.

What they're saying: "We've invested significantly in trying to understand these issues from a research perspective," Thomas Barkin, who took over as head of the Richmond Fed last year, tells Axios.

  • "I personally have invested a lot in getting out in these markets and trying to bring the Federal Reserve to them ... and to try to understand what they're doing well and how we can publicize and spread that."

Between the lines: Wednesday's event took place after the release of dismal manufacturing data that spooked financial markets and resurfaced fears of a coming economic slowdown.

  • Barkin, who won‘t be part of the rotating group of officials who vote on rate decisions until 2021, told reporters on Wednesday he was watching whether or not the downbeat sentiment that's curtailed business investment is seeping into consumer confidence.

Even though the unemployment rate is near a 50-year low, prosperity hasn't reached residents of smaller towns. And while urbanites constitute a way bigger chunk of the U.S. population, rural residents still account for 1 in 5 Americans, per Fed research.

  • "When you do the analysis of who are the people on the sidelines [of the labor market] and who could come in, they are disproportionately in the rural markets," Barkin tells Axios.
  • "This stuff matters because if there are things that could be done to bring more rural, small-town residents [into the labor market], then that means we have job growth available still for a significant amount of time without an increase in wages and prices," says Barkin, noting the important tension for the Fed between inflation and low unemployment.

The big picture: Under the leadership of Jerome Powell, the Fed has hosted other gatheringsunprecedented until this year — to compile grassroots feedback on its longstanding ways of setting monetary policy.

  • Powell has mentioned these "Fed Listens" events when discussing the importance of keeping the economic boom going and when defending the Fed's hotly debated moves to cut interest rates.
  • And next month, as Axios scooped, the Fed is inviting researchers to San Francisco to lay out the economic impacts of climate change, which has never before been a focus for the central bank.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.

5 hours ago - World

British MP dies after being stabbed while meeting constituents

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K., was fatally stabbed Friday while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England, according to AP.

The big picture: Police said a man, 25, was arrested for the stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea and is being held on suspicion of murder. A knife was also recovered at the scene, authorities said.