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Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

July's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary showed that while U.S. employers did more hiring than in any month in history and job openings increased to 6.6 million, the labor market is still struggling.

What's happening: There were 708,000 more hires than separations, a strong number but more than a million below the nonfarm payrolls estimate of 1.73 million jobs added for the month. It was, however, less than the more than 2 million job differential seen in June.

What we're hearing: "You’re seeing a rebound that's been stronger than anything we’ve seen historically but we’ve never been trying to dig out of a hole quite this deep," Stephen Bronars, a labor economist and partner at Edgeworth Economics, tells Axios.

  • "Rather than looking at year-over-year comparisons, you have to look at how many jobs have been lost and how many of those have come back."

By the numbers: Nearly 21.5 million Americans lost their jobs in March and April and only around half of those jobs have returned.

Go deeper

NBA contracts reign supreme with Giannis Antetokounmpo's megadeal

Expand chart
Data: Spotrac; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Giannis Antetokounmpo has signed a five-year, $228.2 million extension to continue playing for the Milwaukee Bucks — the largest contract in NBA history by both total and average annual value.

Why it matters: Teams have been positioning themselves for a run at Antetokounmpo for months amid rumblings that the Greek superstar, a year from free agency, might test the market next summer.

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.