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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

There appears to be a link between states seeing a strong rebound in a slice of small business hiring: higher vaccination rates.

Driving the news: A new report by payroll processing firm Gusto says places with a bigger share of their population fully jabbed also saw bigger instances of job growth in the service sector.

The backdrop: COVID-19 — and fears of contracting the virus — top the list of reasons why unemployed workers are hesitant about returning to work, recent surveys show.

  • "If people are nervous about the Delta variant, that could slow [the] labor market recovery," Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari told Face the Nation yesterday.
Expand chart
Data: Gusto; Chart: Will Chase/Axios
  • On the employer side: "There's a relationship between public health and small business health," says Gusto economist Luke Pardue.

How it works: Gusto looked at employment growth within "people-facing" industries, like restaurants, bars or retail shops.

  • But, but, but: The data stops short of showing bigger employment growth is happening because vaccination rates are higher. Other variables are at play — include fluctuating demand that could affect staffing needs.
  • "Some of the areas where we've seen relatively strong employment growth in recent months have lower vaccination rates — but they're also tourist destinations," says Wells Fargo economist Sarah House.

What to watch: Businesses are starting to step up mandates for employees and customers alike — among the latest: high-end gym Equinox — in a move that may juice vax rates.

Go deeper

Record number of U.S. workers quit their jobs in August

New government jobs data released Tuesday helps paint a clearer picture of the impact the Delta variant had on the stalled jobs recovery in August. In a nutshell, more people quit their jobs, and companies pulled back on job openings.

Why it matters: The number of new jobs created in August (366,000) was a stark slowdown from July’s 1 million — and a reality check for investors and economists.

"No-code" miracle for startups

Expand chart
Data: Interactive Advertising Bureau; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy — one that relied on the buildout of hardware — to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.

Why it matters: This shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.

Amazon's small business shield

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amazon is touting the success of small sellers on its platform through the pandemic — and warning that antitrust legislation could jeopardize that success and blow up its open-marketplace model.

Why it matters: As online shopping became a lifeline for both businesses and consumers during the pandemic, Amazon reaped big benefits, but also saw its regulatory risk grow.