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Data: Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index; Chart: Axios Visuals

Worries about job losses and/or having hours cut and losing income are decreasing across the board but inequality ticked up in May, according to the Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index.

How it works: The values of the index answer the question, "How differently are U.S. adults with annual incomes below $50,000, between $50,000 and $100,000, and over $100,000 experiencing the economy?"

  • The higher the index value, the more differently adults across the income spectrum are experiencing the economy.

What happened: This data is based on survey respondents' answers to the question, "Do you expect that you will experience a loss of employment income in the next 4 weeks?"

How to read it: "The values are represented as standard deviation across income groups for the monthly averages for each, so the graph represents the differences among the income groups with regard to expectations of pay loss since April 2020," Morning Consult chief economist John Leer explains.

  • In essence, a higher number means worries of job or income loss are rising more for lower-paid workers than they are for those with higher wages.

The big picture: "Middle- and low-income workers finance most of their purchases, if not all of them, through wages from working, so getting the jobs recovery up and running is just going to be absolutely paramount, both for the economic recovery and for making sure that it’s broad-based."

Go deeper: Inequality decreased for most of 2021 but picked up in May, index shows

Go deeper

July forecasts call for job, wage growth

Expand chart
Data: FRED. Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Economists say job momentum continued in July with 620,000 payroll jobs added. If they're right, it helps chip away at the 6.8 million still needed for a full healing.

  • The unemployment rate could slip to 5.8%, matching a pandemic-era low.
  • Wages are expected to grow 0.2% after gaining 0.3% in June.

The big question is whether it's all enough to entice more sidelined workers back into the job market.

  • The so-called labor force participation rate has barely budged in months.

1 big thing: The worker's job market

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, FRED; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The unprecedented upheaval of a year-plus of pandemic life is playing out in the job market.

Why it matters: The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. At the same time, the Great Resignation has companies across the country trying desperately to hold on to staff as employees act on pent-up demand for job changes.

WHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries

Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization regional director for Africa. Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The World Health Organization called on countries Sunday to not impose travel bans on southern African nations amid concerns over the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The U.S. and countries in Europe and the Asia-Pacific announced travel restrictions in response to Omicron, which was first detected in South Africa. It's since spread to several European countries, Canada, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong. The WHO noted in a statement that only two southern African nations have detected the new variant.