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Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg released Wednesday an economic agenda that focuses heavily on helping "the people and communities that have been short-changed by President Trump," per the plan's details, by creating jobs and increasing wages.

Why it matters: It's no secret Trump wants to run his re-election campaign on the economy, but Bloomberg is tapping into a conversation we're hearing from voters all across the country, whether in our focus groups or on the campaign trail: wages aren't keeping up and Trump isn't talking about that.

  • There might be more jobs available, but the wages aren't matching the demands of a 21st century lifestyle — and many Americans are piecing together multiple gigs to make ends meet.
  • Bloomberg will travel to Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio later today to sell his "All-in economy" agenda to voters there, and Axios will be at all three stops.
  • Hillary Clinton won two of those three states in 2016, with Trump taking Ohio.

What they're saying: "I know that our economy is working fine for people like me — and people like Donald Trump," Bloomberg said on a call with reporters yesterday morning. "But it is badly broken for the vast majority of Americans."

  • "He’s counting on the economy to lift him to victory — and he’s hoping to face a career politician who’s never created any jobs," he said, referring to his three terms as mayor of New York City, during which he created 400,000 jobs.

Between the lines: Through his policy rollout and travel, Bloomberg is trying to puncture a hole in the president's narrative of an economic boom for all Americans.

  • Bloomberg is visiting a community college on the South Side of Chicago, an area that is facing high levels of poverty even though it's in one of the country's wealthiest cities.
  • He'll speak to the concerns of displaced manufacturing workers in Akron, Ohio after that, and meet with farmers in Wells, Minn., who have been negatively affected by Trump's trade wars.

The big picture: Despite his late entrance into the 2020 presidential race, Bloomberg hasn't wasted any time releasing policy proposals and taking on Trump directly.

  • His "All-in economy" agenda starts with an investment in education and vocational training, so that Americans can get the skills that employers are prioritizing for hiring.
  • The plan also proposes launching "a major public research and development initiative in industries like agriculture, manufacturing, and medicine" to stimulate job growth.
  • Bloomberg also calls for a $15 minimum wage, an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to better help gig-economy workers, and a proposed investment in rural broadband access.

A Bloomberg campaign official told Axios on the call yesterday that the exact costs of the plan are still being sorted out because "all of the plans he’s issuing are intertwined."

  • The campaign said they'll be releasing tax- and spending-related plans for Bloomberg's various policies "in the coming weeks."
  • While there's no hook to the release of this plan, Bloomberg's 2020 team said, given his focus on Super Tuesday, it's important to have "as many critical policy positions out for voters to understand and discuss sooner than later."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Health measures taken to combat COVID-19 before the emergence of Omicron should also help against the new variant of concern, World Health Organization officials said Friday.

What they're saying: Takeshi Kasai, the WHO's regional director for the Western Pacific, said during a virtual briefing broadcast from Manila, Philippines, that border controls imposed by the U.S. and other nations can "buy time" to deal with the variant, but warned "every country and every community must prepare for new surges in cases."

1 hour ago - Health

Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada's Public Employees' Benefit Program Board voted Thursday to charge workers enrolled in public employee health insurance plans a surcharge of up to $55 a month if they're not vaccinated against COVID-19, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state to announce such a move, per AP.

Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 29 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Getty Images

The state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday in an attempt to block the enforcement of its vaccine mandate for federal employees.

Why it matters: The move comes one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin denied Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's (R) request to exempt the state's National Guard from the mandate.