May 7, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: Stocks had a rough one. The DJIA was down 473 points (1.8%), its worst day in 5 months, and the S&P 500 was down 1.6%.

1 big thing: Trump country's precarious gains

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Trump country is winning again, "at least for now," according to a new Brookings Institution report that shows counties that voted for Donald Trump are adding jobs at a faster rate than Clinton counties.

  • "The 490 counties that voted for Clinton continue to massively predominate in the sheer volume and productivity of their economic activity. Together they accounted for two-thirds of the nation’s employment growth and three-quarters of its GDP growth."
  • "But during the first 21 months of the Trump administration, as people and jobs once again begin to spread out and sprawl, job growth rates in the 2,622 Trump-voting counties have gone from lagging behind those in Clinton counties to outpacing them."

The other side: "That growth hasn’t translated into pay gains," Bloomberg notes.

  • "After inflation, average weekly earnings in Trump country fell at a 0.3 percent annual rate, down from 0.6 percent growth in Obama’s final years."
  • "Workers in Democratic-leaning areas did better, with pay rising at a 0.1 percent rate, down from 0.9 percent annual gains during Obama’s last two years. Still, national data point to stronger wage gains under Trump beyond 2018."

The bottom line: Rural, red America's big picture issues — population loss, brain drain and economic reliance on commodities — are still here, waiting for the next recession to poke back up.

  • The Trump trade war threatens agriculture, rural areas and related sectors. [Map]
  • A downturn or recession would hammer sectors such as construction and fossil fuel extraction.
  • Robots are coming for the jobs thriving in Trump country. [Chart]

Go deeper:

Bonus: Chart du jour
Expand chart
Adapted from a Brookings analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data; Chart: Axios Visuals
2. What you missed
  1. The family of Sandra Bland has called for renewed investigation into her death after Dallas television station WFAA released previously unseen cellphone footage of the 2015 traffic stop that preceded her death. Go deeper.
  2. White House counsel Pat Cipollone has instructed former counsel Don McGahn to withhold subpoenaed documents from the House Judiciary Committee. Read the letter.
  3. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that the Trump administration's provocation and refusal to follow the order of subpoenas could be an impeachable offense.
  4. Papa John's founder John Schnatter has engaged financial advisers to explore the sale of all or part of his 31% stake in the company. His position has a current market value of around $500 million.
  5. 60% of the 700 pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. last year were preventable, the CDC announced today. Details.
  6. Ukraine's former deputy prosecutor general has cast doubt on a New York Times story that reported on potential conflicts of interest involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden's work for a Ukrainian company, Bloomberg reports.
3. 1 tech thing

Attendees cheer before the start of the Google I/O conference keynote. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

A few choice highlights from Google's I/O conference, courtesy of Axios' Ina Fried:

  • Google Assistant will let you make assignable reminders, and you'll be able to stop a timer or alarm by saying "stop" without having to say "Hey Google" first, starting today.
  • New search features include the indexing of podcasts so people can search within podcasts and listen directly from the search page.
  • Google is evolving Duplex, the AI bot that calls restaurants to make reservations, to also handle some tasks on the web such as filling out online forms to booking a rental car or buying movie tickets. It can use trip conformations from your e-mail to autofill the dates of the car bookings.
  • A private "incognito" mode to Google Maps, where activity and search won't be linked to your account. Incognito mode is also coming to search this year. (It's already in Chrome and YouTube.)
Mike Allen