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!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

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!

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: Brendan Lynch/Axios

All eyes will be on Iowa and other Republican-led states these next few months to see if an early exit from federal unemployment benefits truly nudges people back to work.

Why it matters: Gov. Kim Reynolds decided to curtail the weekly $300 supplemental aid starting Saturday — making Iowa one of the earliest states to try and see if it moves the needle in labor participation.

  • "This is going to be one of the largest experiments in the U.S. labor market that I've ever heard of," Peter Orazem, an economics professor at ISU., told Axios.

The big picture: The lack of urgency to return to work is puzzling and contradicts trends from past recoveries, Orazem said.

What they're saying: People may stay at home because of lack of child care or potential virus exposure, but Iowa's early school reopenings and vaccinations should have abated that, Orazem said.

  • "The one constant has been that unemployment benefits are generous. So that's the last possible explanation that hasn't been changed," Orazem said.

The other side: An extra $300 a week isn't enough incentive for people to stay at home, said Paul Rottenberg, president of Orchestrate Hospitality.

  • He believes the pandemic exacerbated Iowa's existing worker shortage and it's more severe now because of new jobs in booming industries like construction and warehouses.
  • "They're just not interested in coming back," Rottenberg said.

Workers are also now in a position where they feel more empowered to choose jobs they genuinely like, said Mike Draper, owner of Raygun.

  • "I think people are just assessing what they do during the day and how they want to be treated and what kind of environment they want to work in," Draper said.

Between the lines: If Iowa wants enough workers to fill jobs long-term, Rottenberg said the U.S. needs to reform its work visa and immigration policies.

  • "We're a country that needs a labor workforce," Rottenberg said. "We've got to figure out how to have legal immigration."
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.

Go deeper

Workers gain upper hand for first time in a generation

Activists call for a full minimum wage with tips for restaurant workers in Washington, DC in May 2021. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has recalibrated the power dynamics between employers and would-be employees in favor of workers, and this shift "could persist for years," the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: With workers having the upper hand, employers are trying to lure them into the workforce by offering higher wages and more benefits, as well as loosening up the stringent requirements for potential applicants.

Updated 6 mins ago - World

North and South Korea restart hotline and pledge to improve ties

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2018. Photo: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images

North and South Korea's leaders have pledged to improve relations and resume previously suspended communication channels between the two countries.

Why it matters: The resumption of the hotline on Tuesday comes despite stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang on the denuclearization of North Korea, which broke down after a second summit between then-President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal in 2019.

Updated 54 mins ago - Sports

Teen swimmer Lydia Jacoby wins 1st U.S. women's Olympic gold in Tokyo

Lydia Jacoby of Team USA wins gold in the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Games. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Team USA's 17-year-old swimmer Lydia Jacoby has won the Olympic gold medal in the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Games, completing the race with a time of 1:04.95.

Of note: The Alaskan beat defending Olympic champion and fellow American Lilly King, who won bronze. Tatjana Shoenmaker from South Africa took home the silver medal.