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Photo: Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama on Monday endorsed 118 candidates running for office in November, including 52 campaigning for the House and Senate.

Why it matters: Obama consistently rates as one of the Democratic Party's most popular figures and is starting to campaign more aggressively after staying on the sidelines for much of the primary season. His first wave of endorsements is aimed at keeping the Democratic majority in the House and winning back the Senate, in addition to shaping state offices ahead of this year's redistricting.

What he's saying:

"Together, these candidates will help us redeem our country’s promise by sticking up for working class people, restoring fairness and opportunity to our system, and fighting for the good of all Americans — not just those at the top. They make me optimistic not just about our party’s chances in November, but about our country’s future long after that."
— Barack Obama in a Medium post

Details: Obama's endorsements include Democratic challengers running for the Senate against Republican incumbents in Colorado, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina and South Carolina.

  • He also heavily targeted Texas, which could be a presidential swing state in November, with a total of 27 endorsements in national and state House races.
  • Obama is so far not endorsing Senate candidates in more conservative states like Montana, Kentucky and Georgia, the New York Times notes.

What to watch: A second set of endorsements is planned for states whose primaries have yet to be held.

Go deeper: The blue wave keeps growing

Go deeper

Trump forms PAC as he refuses to concede election

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump has created a new political action committee as he refuses to concede to President-elect Joe Biden, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission.

The big picture: The committee, called "Save America," will receive 60% of donations sent to the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee's joint fundraising effort, according to a Trump campaign website. The federal fundraising apparatus will potentially help the president "retain his hold on the Republican Party even after he leaves office," writes the New York Times, which first reported the story.

U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The economy added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3% to 6.2%, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Why it matters: The first Biden-era jobs report shows hiring surged as coronavirus cases eased — though a full recovery remains far off. Economists expected the economy to add roughly 182,000 jobs last month, after adding a paltry 49,000 in January.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.