Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell arrives for a news conference on September 26, 2018. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference on Wednesday that "broader" measurements of income are better, but declined to comment on the White House's alternate proposal to calculate wage growth.

Flashback: Powell called tepid wage growth puzzling in recent months. The Council of Economic proposed its own methodology — accounting for non-cash benefits (bonuses, paid time off and health benefits) and a different measurement of inflation — which showed strong wage growth. That was before paychecks grew in August at a rate we haven't seen in almost a decade.

The Fed monitors a range of wage indicators. Speaking to reporters after the Fed announced it would raise rates for the third time this year, Powell cited accelerating pay as an example of a "particularly bright moment" for the economy. But some analysts argue that higher rates could erase any wage gains consumers have seen.

  • "Wage growth — finally it has accelerated a bit, but it's still a shadow of its former self. Especially after adjusting for inflation, which has picked up," Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, told NPR.

What to watch: The September jobs report next week, when we'll get another read of paycheck growth (and possibly, a revision of last month's number.)

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Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

2 hours ago - Science

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 18,912,947 — Total deaths: 710,318— Total recoveries — 11,403,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 4,867,916 — Total deaths: 159,841 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.