Axios Boston

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Welcome to a wet Wednesday

Today's weather: Rain, around 40 degrees.

Today's newsletter is 775 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Grab the umbrella: Another storm's coming

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Get ready for another wet one as a springtime nor'easter blows into the Boston area later today

Why it matters: There's a distinct chance of coastal flooding, strong winds and lots of rain starting this afternoon and continuing through Thursday evening.

  • Expect roughly two inches of rainfall around Boston and up to 40 mph winds.

Zoom in: For areas west of Boston, forecasts predict a wintery mix that won't be able to decide whether to be freezing rain, sleet or snow.

  • It'll be worse way out west in Franklin and Hampshire counties where a full "winter storm watch" is in effect, according to the National Weather Service.
a weather map
The North Shore coast and Cape Cod will see the worst of the high tide Thursday night. Map: The National Weather Service.

The rain is predicted to begin Wednesday morning and become steadier and heavier as the day goes on.

  • If the rain is still pouring down by Thursday night's high tide, things will get messy in coastal areas.
  • The strong winds and high tide could mean 8-14 foot surf.

What's next: Forecasters warn some nasty weather could linger even after the storm moves on from Boston Thursday night, with rain forecast into the weekend.

Yes, but: Skies should clear early next week, just in time for the eclipse.

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2. 📱 The gig economy's impact on Mass.

App-based workers' share of labor force, 2022
Data: Flex Association; Map: Axios Visuals

4.6% of Massachusetts's overall workforce engages in app-based work.

Why it matters: App-based work offers a flexible way to earn a living or just make an extra buck — but many such workers are fighting for better pay, benefits and more.

The big picture: About 4.3% of the overall U.S. workforce takes part in app-based work, demonstrating gig companies' influence.

Zoom in: Work conditions could change for app workers later this year when voters decide whether to legally exempt companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash from state requirements on regular employment and benefits.

  • Unions and Democrats say the gig economy companies should consider workers as employees instead of independent contractors.

The other side: The companies, and many of their drivers and delivery workers, are willing to trade limited new benefits to keep the contractor system.

How it works: The app-based work data is the result of an Axios analysis of a new study from consultancy Public First and commissioned by Flex, a trade group representing DoorDash, Uber, Lyft and more.

  • The Flex study is based on aggregated data collected in 2022 from several such platforms, plus "new consumer and app-based worker survey data."
  • We compared the study's estimated numbers of app-based workers by state with the size of each state's overall civilian labor force.

By the numbers: There are 7.3 million app-based workers nationwide, per the study.

  • "The app-based rideshare and delivery industry contributes over $212 billion annually to the U.S. economy," Flex claims.

Zoom out: Washington, D.C., is America's app-based work hotspot, with drivers or couriers making up 9% of the labor force there.

  • D.C. aside, Florida (6.4% of the labor force), Nevada (6%) and Georgia (5.9%) have the highest share of app-based workers in their respective labor forces.
  • Tennessee (0.5%), Vermont (1.5%) and South Dakota (1.6%) have the lowest.

What's next: "We estimate that the industry could be worth approximately $500 billion in 10 years' time," Public First director Vinous Ali said in a statement.

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3. 🔙 BTMU: Former Sox prez dead

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Larry Lucchino, the president of the Red Sox who led the team to World Series victory between 2002 and 2015, died at age 78. (Globe)

  • Lucchino was also chairman of the Jimmy Fund from 2016 until his death.

WeWork could be out of bankruptcy protection by the end of the month after restructuring its money-losing real estate holdings. (Bloomberg)

The MBTA has made progress hiring new employees to keep the trains running on time, but a new report says the agency still has a long way to go. (SHNS)

A cement truck struck and killed a person in a wheelchair under the southeast Expressway underpasses in the South End yesterday. (NBC10)

Gov. Maura Healey will freeze some state hiring because of lower than expected tax collections. (Globe)

4. 📸 Photo du jour: Copley Square protest

Photo: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Local 103's Stephen Cameron stood with other union construction workers Monday to protest the new owners of the Wesleyan Building at 581 Boylston Street.

  • The union says the building's owners are using exploitative labor practices in a renovation project.

5. 🥟 One lunch to go: Nan Xiang Express

They're hot, they're juicy and they make no apologies. Photo: Mike Deehan

What we ate: Chicken soup dumplings ($10.95) and vegetable spring rolls ($5.95.)

Was it any good: Yep. Pretty dang tasty and steaming hot.

  • The year-old Nan Xiang Express, located in the old Gourmet Dumpling House at 52 Beach Street in Chinatown, features a touchpad menu kiosk and free (extremely hot) tea.

Of note: The Express location is a spinoff of an award-winning New York dumpling spot.

The bottom line: Nan Xiang Express offers a delicious, and quick, take on some Chinatown staples.

Deehan somehow got dumpling soup mess on his sleeve but not his shirt.

Steph is out this week.

This newsletter was edited by Jeff Weiner and copy edited by James Farrell.