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I have 1,072 words for you this evening — a 4-minute read. First up...
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The tightening labor market is opening up new opportunities for an overlooked cohort of American workers: those over age 50.
Why it matters: Ageism has long persisted within American companies, and studies have shown that workers over 50 often get turned away from jobs even if they've got the right qualifications. But the tide may be turning.
The big picture: As societies age, the older population will become increasingly key to global economic growth, both as workers and as consumers.
What's happening: The collision of demographic and employment trends is pushing firms to adapt. "There's a lot of discrimination to overcome, but with a tight labor market and fewer younger workers, it's beginning to change," Scott says.
Yes, but: While well-paid professionals may enjoy working later in life, many people at the lower end of the spectrum remain in the workforce because they cannot afford to retire, says Scott.
The bottom line: "We've ignored how aging is changing," Scott says. "People are aging better than in the past, on average, and that's a fantastic opportunity."
Go deeper: When automation and aging collide
Zooming down D.C.'s K street on an electric scooter. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Cities are driving electric scooters out, either by explicitly ordering them off the streets or regulating them into extinction.
Why it matters: The rise of dockless electric bikes and scooters has brought on a slew of issues for cities, from crowded curbs to deadly accidents. But they offer a clean, convenient way to get around, and eliminating them entirely isn't the right solution, experts say.
Where it stands: In many cities, new laws, including complex data-sharing requirements and fees, are pushing scooters out. In others, they're altogether banned, CityLab's Laura Bliss writes.
The big picture: Cities are struggling to manage the electric bikes and scooters because "we've developed governance that is pro-car," says Richard Florida, an urbanist at the University of Toronto. "This is a product of cities that are not prepared for the revolution in mobility."
What to watch: "The wrong approach to regulation can become an e-scooter-killer," David Zipper, a fellow at Harvard's Taubman Center for State and Local Government, writes in CityLab.
Seltzer is taking up real estate in the beer section. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images
Last year was a "breakthrough year" for hard seltzers like White Claw and Truly, per research from Bank of America, and sales should bubble over in 2020 — judging from beverage chatter on Insta, Axios managing editor Jennifer A. Kingson writes.
Why it matters: Boozy soft drinks are taking market share from traditional beer, fueled by health and wellness trends (low-cal, low-carb) and the fact that they fall somewhere between wine, spirits and beer, the bank says.
Driving the news: The volume of conversations on Instagram about hard seltzer in January was six times greater than last January — and 35% higher than in June, when warm weather makes us thirstier, according to BofA's "hard seltzer sentiment tracker."
Beverage giants are pouring into the market: Bud Light Seltzer, which was advertised during the Super Bowl, made it into 14.3% of January Insta mentions.
The bottom line: Beer has seen sales drop as spiked seltzers have seen them rise, and Instagram posts are as a leading indicator of the consumption.
Go deeper: Big Beer faces a risky future
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Big Tech braces for sprawling FTC acquisitions review (Dan Primack — Axios)
What scientists can learn from alien hunters (Sarah Scoles — Wired)
Smallest U.S. firms struggle to find workers (Ruth Simon — WSJ)
Americans are tired of living alone (Justin Fox — Bloomberg)
The countries splurging on pets (The Economist)
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Last week, I wrote about how the coronavirus outbreak is threatening China's grand plans for itself.
In response, a Future reader who's quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship wrote to me about his experiences onboard. Below are excerpts of his dispatch on Day 7 of a 14-day quarantine (printed with permission). Both he and his wife are healthy!
"We arrived back into port this morning around 8 a.m.
We spent the evening hours of yesterday at sea replenishing fresh water reserves and offloaded 65 more passengers over the 2 prior days.
Shortly after docking today the Captain made an announcement another 38 passengers have tested positive for CV. They will be offloaded today.
As of this morning we received some more medications, but not all.
The biggest downside is in the ineptness of the ship to be able to get us badly needed medications they promised 4 days ago.
This should be a testament to the current market leaders that emergency protocols need to be established quickly to address events in the future, otherwise the inability to get even simple medications could equally end in injury and/or death situations equalling whatever a pandemic would do."
Thanks for reading!