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Expand chart
Data: ESPN research, Paul Hembekides; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The MLB entered its first work stoppage since 1995 after the players’ collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight this morning.

Why it matters: What’s happening with the players feels very similar to the larger labor movements taking place this year — workers are asking for a bigger piece of the pie commensurate with their value. 

  • The nuance with baseball is that workers (the players) want to earn more money earlier in their careers when they’re in their athletic prime. 

One analogy: Imagine a younger John Deere factory worker was better at putting together tractors than his older counterparts (better hand-eye coordination, faster, etc.), but his union’s collective bargaining agreement stipulates that earnings are capped in the first six years of his career.

  • By the time he can start earning real money in year seven, John Deere sees his skills are on the decline and offers him only a modest raise.

Go deeper

America's workers rush back to labor force

Expand chart
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics via FRED; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The big shocker of Friday's jobs report: More than half a million people entered the labor force, the biggest influx in over a year.

Why it matters: A giant cloud over the recovery — the snail-like pace workers have returned — may be starting to clear.

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker