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Expand chart
Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Dating back to the 1940s corporate profits and labor rose and fell together, reflecting the general growth of the economy, note economists at the St. Louis Fed:

"The past decade and a half seems to be different, though. Never have corporate profits outgrown employee compensation so clearly and for so long."

What's happening: Capital Economics chief economist Neil Shearing says the change has to do with a shift in incentives for decision makers at large companies.

  • "There are a whole raft of structural shifts in the developed world over the last 30 years that have weakened the power of unions ... and basically shifted more of the share of income of labor to corporates and rather than being used for investment it's just jacked up share prices."
  • "If you get to a world of more equal distribution of labor it ... would be terrible for the stock market, but it would help to address some of the more social, distributional type issues."

Go deeper: Walmart CEO calls on Congress to increase "lagging" federal minimum wage

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.