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

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Walmart employee pushes grocery carts at a Walmart store. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Amid a stagnating wages crisis, income volatility continues to be a top concern for workers.

Why it matters: This concern is spreading so rapidly that large employers like Walmart are looking for ways to help their employees better manage inconsistent income and personal finances. Walmart revealed on Thursday that more than 200,000 of its employees are now using Even, a system to help workers access their earned wages in between paychecks if they're short on cash for bills.

"What we quickly learned… is that [getting consistent income is] part of the problem and it’s not all of the problem... Income is part of it, but also what you do with that income."
— Even co-founder and CEO Jon Schlossberg tells Axios

This conclusion is why Even's app also includes features for budgeting, managing expenses, and saving money — all to make early withdrawal of earned wages a last-resort option for users.

  • Companies like Even also say they aim to be an alternative to payday loans, which come with exorbitantly high interest rates and can cause bigger financial problems.

The bottom line: Most American workers care more about having consistent pay than earning more, Tony Xu, CEO of food delivery startup DoorDash, said a year ago. DoorDash's delivery workers are independent contractors and part of the so-called "gig economy."

Go deeper: A look at Even, and similar services

Go deeper

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

House sends anti-Asian hate crimes bill to Biden's desk

Asian Coalition of Massachusetts organizer Fiona Phie takes a moment of silence after placing an offering among flowers, candles and incense to honor those who have experienced violent anti-Asian hate crimes. Photo: Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The House voted 364-62 on Tuesday to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and send it to President Biden's desk, who has said he will sign the measure into law.

Why it matters: Introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), the bill is Congress' first substantial effort to address the rise of anti-Asian hate this past year, which has included stabbings, sexual assault and elder abuse.

Feds investigating alleged scheme to illegally finance Collins’ re-election bid

Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: SARAH SILBIGER / Getty Images

The FBI is investigating what it describes as a massive scheme to illegally finance Sen. Susan Collins' 2020 reelection bid, Axios has learned.

What's happening: A recently unsealed search warrant application shows the FBI believes a Hawaii defense contractor illegally funneled $150,000 to a pro-Collins super PAC and reimbursed donations to Collins' campaign. There's no indication that Collins or her team were aware of any of it.

Mapped: Confederate monuments over time

Data: Southern Poverty Law Center; Note: There are some monuments with unknown dedication dates and they are not represented in the bar chart; Map: Michelle McGhee/Axios

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