Axios Closer

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🥲 The end of summer is nigh.

Today's newsletter is 700 words, a 2½-minute read.

🔔 The dashboard: The S&P 500 closed up 0.6%.

  • Biggest gainer? Boston Scientific (+6.0%), the medical device company, announced positive results over the weekend for its atrial fibrillation treatment.
  • Biggest decliner? Bio-Techne (-2.4%), the provider of supplies and services to life science researchers. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

1 big thing: The biggest skills gaps in AI

Animated illustration of a block of text being highlighted to reveal a highlighted portion resembling a pink brain, followed by an arrow clicking and selecting "copy" from a drop-down menu

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

We've tried to be judicious in covering AI in this newsletter because it's a whale of a topic with deep layers of effects, Hope writes.

  • What we do know is that its deployment requires a lot of powerful chips — and workers with specialized skills, which is what we'll focus on today.

Technical skills: In order for companies to realize the benefits of AI in the real world, they'll need people with data science and natural-language processing skills, demand for which is currently outpacing supply, a McKinsey study for the first half of 2023 has found.

  • Demand for expertise with Apache Hadoop, Apache Hive and feature engineering is also hugely outpacing the availability of people who have those experiences, the researchers say.

Separately, because many businesses are in the early phases of exploring generative AI, postings related specifically to the technology reflect a need for people with management, strategy and regulatory compliance backgrounds.

Zoom out: McKinsey said its survey of 3.5 million job postings across a wider list of tech trends found that many of the skills in greatest demand have less than half as many qualified practitioners per posting as the global average.

  • "The talent crunch is particularly pronounced for trends such as cloud computing and industrializing machine learning, which are required across most industries," researchers wrote.

What we're watching: The need for AI-skilled workers across sectors is pushing salaries sky-high.

  • "This is pure market economics," Paul J. Groce, a partner at the executive recruiting firm Leathwaite, tells WSJ.

Go deeper

2. Bonus chart: What workers want from AI

Data: Microsoft, Edelman; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Microsoft, Edelman; Chart: Axios Visuals

Companies plan to hire more as a result of generative AI, recent research from Upwork reveals, Hope continues.

Why it matters: Many workers are worried about automation and AI taking their jobs.

  • But as Axios' Eleanor Hawkins recently pinpointed in her Axios Communicators newsletter, the real threat for many is not the technology — it's other people who know how to use it.

State of play: While 49% of people say they're worried about job displacement, 70% would actually delegate as much work as possible to AI in order to reduce their workloads, according to a Microsoft study.

3. What's happening

⏲️ American Airlines' $4.1 million fine is the largest ever for subjecting passengers to tarmac delays. (Bloomberg)

💸 Goldman Sachs announced a deal to sell part of its wealth advisory business. (Reuters)

4. Raimondo in China

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo speaks at the Ministry of Commerce Wednesday in Beijing, China. Photo: Andy Wong-Pool/Getty Images

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is in China until Wednesday — the fourth senior Biden administration official to travel to the country in recent weeks.

Why it matters: Experts believe that Beijing will use Raimondo's visit to lobby for the lifting of U.S. export controls, CNN reports.

  • Meanwhile, China has been responding with its own restrictions "where it hurts" — metals used in semiconductors.

What they're saying: U.S. investment in "our infrastructure, in our people, in our manufacturing, and in our supply chain ... is not intended to hinder China's economic progress," Raimondo said in prepared remarks ahead of talks with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on Monday.

  • "I've come here in the spirit of being practical and finding concrete ways to work together with you," Raimondo said.

5. 🍇 Bordeaux woes

vineyard and manor at a winery in France

A view of the vineyards and manor house at the 18th century Château Puynard winery on June 28, 2018, in the village of Berson, France. Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images

This week's reason for wine to be on our minds on a Monday afternoon comes via the French government, Hope writes.

  • In particular, France's decision to set aside $216 million to fund the destruction of surplus wine production to shore up prices, per an AFP report.
  • Several major wine-producing regions in France, particularly the Bordeaux area, have been struggling because of changes in consumption habits, the pandemic and extreme weather.

The intrigue: Wine overproduction has been a problem since the 19th century, Elizabeth Carter, a University of New Hampshire political science professor who has studied the French wine market, tells the Washington Post.

  • France has long regulated the industry — from dictating how many vines producers can grow and how far apart they have to be — in an effort to prevent the market from being flooded, she noted.

6. What they're saying

"If the Communist party of China says follow my orders or I will confiscate your Hon Hai assets, I will say, yes, please, do it. ... I will not be threatened."
— Terry Gou, founder and board member of Apple supplier Foxconn, as he announced his long shot bid for Taiwan's presidency.

Today's newsletter was edited by Pete Gannon and copy edited by Sheryl Miller.

💡 Join Axios Pro Retail reporters Kimberly Chin and Richard Collings tomorrow at 12:30pm ET for a virtual event examining M&A hotspots in the retail sector.

  • Guests include chair of Growth Beverage Brian Rosen and Solomon Partners partner and co-head of consumer retail Cathy Leonhardt. Register here to attend.