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Expand chart
Data: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.; Chart: Axios Visuals

It's not March Madness, but the upcoming finale of "Game of Thrones" is going to cost employers billions in lost productivity.

The impact: An estimated 10.7 million Americans will skip work the morning after the finale airs on Sunday night, according to The Workforce Institute at Kronos.

Yes, but: Although some employees may not show up and water-cooler discussions of "Game of Thrones" may be intense as the HBO series nears its conclusion, there are far costlier workplace diversions, according to a calculation by the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Go deeper: Final season of "Game of Thrones" marks decline of appointment TV

Go deeper

2 mins ago - Podcasts

Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing two emergency use authorization requests for COVID-19 vaccines, with an outside advisory committee scheduled to meet next Thursday to review data from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with former FDA commissioner Rob Calif about the EUA process, the science and who should make the final call.

The recovery needs rocket fuel

Data: BLS. Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's deeply disappointing jobs report should light a fire under Congress, which has dithered despite signs the economy is struggling to kick back into gear.

Driving the news: President-elect Biden said Friday afternoon in Wilmington that he supports another round of $1,200 checks.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.