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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Last week’s economic data dump was nothing if not consistent. Spanning the May jobs report, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book and business activity indicators, the picture that emerged was one of an economy in recovery — albeit slower than some expected, and jammed with labor and supply shortages.

Why it matters: Taken together, the data gives the Fed cover from making any big monetary decisions or changing its course over the next few months.

Catch up quick: Friday brought a "Goldilocks jobs report," in that it was "not too hot, and not too cold," Kristina Hooper, Invesco’s chief investment strategist, tells Axios.

  • "From a markets perspective, this is the best possible scenario. We saw enough job creation, but not too much," Hooper says.
  • There were 559,000 jobs created in May — which is still 7.6 million below pre-pandemic levels.
  • The market generally expected the Fed to begin telegraphing plans for tapering by late summer or fall. After last week's reports, that hasn’t changed.

Meanwhile: The Fed governors in Wednesday's Beige Book highlighted increased growth compared with earlier in the year.

Yes, but: They also noted labor shortages and increasing input costs for businesses.

  • "It's unusual to see continued slack in the economy, together with labor shortages which are very clearly being signaled by employers," says Sonal Desai, fixed income CIO at Franklin Templeton.
  • And it’s not just low-skilled jobs. "There appears to be a genuine difficulty in finding both unskilled and skilled workers," she notes.

What to watch: Whether the June and July jobs and price data show the bottlenecks working themselves out as the pandemic recovery progresses.

What else to watch: The mismatch of available jobs to available labor could ultimately become part of the conversation on immigration reform.

Go Deeper with Axios Re:Cap🎙 to unpack the jobs report.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Sep 6, 2021 - Economy & Business

The labor movement is showing signs of life

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Labor unions represent a larger percentage of U.S. workers than at any time in the past five years, as the pandemic took its biggest bite out of non-unionized jobs.

Why it matters: America's labor movement isn't quite resurgent, but it is showing signs of life after decades of decline.

23 mins ago - Health

Transplants rebound from COVID lull

Expand chart
Data: United Network for Organ Sharing; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

More than 41,000 Americans underwent an organ transplant in 2021, a new record and a 6% increase from 2020, when the pandemic caused a slight slowdown of the life-saving procedures.

Why it matters: There are more transplant patients than ever, and they are particularly vulnerable to the worst effects of COVID because of their compromised immune systems — although vaccines provide important protection.

23 mins ago - World

Senators make bipartisan trip to Ukraine after divisive Russia vote

Ukrainian President Zelensky. Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

A bipartisan group of seven U.S. senators met Monday in Kyiv with President Volodymyr Zelensky and other top officials as Ukraine and the West brace for the possibility of an imminent Russian invasion.

Why it matters: The delegation is seeking to project a united front with Ukraine, following a divisive Senate vote on Thursday in which Democrats blocked sanctions Zelensky's government was seeking against the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline.