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Data: Economic Policy Institute analysis of BLS data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Companies made headlines last year as they gave out a bounty of bonuses to their employees thanks to 2017's Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But those bonuses ended up totaling just 1 red cent in extra compensation for American workers, according to data analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.

What it means: The left-leaning think tank's inflation-adjusted calculations based on Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employer Costs for Employee Compensation showed that bonuses fell $0.22 from December 2017 to December 2018, and the average bonus for 2018 was just $0.01 higher than in 2017.

Details: EPI's analysis of the government data shows very little increase in private sector pay or W-2 wages since the end of 2017. W-2 wages fell 2% from December 2017 to December 2018, and total compensation fell by 0.9%. For the full year, W-2 wages and compensation in 2018 rose by 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively, over their 2017 levels.

What they're saying: "This is not what the tax cutters promised, or bragged about soon after the tax bill passed," Lawrence Mishel, a distinguished fellow at EPI, said in the report.

  • "They claimed that their bill would raise the wages of rank-and-file workers, with congressional Republicans and members of the Trump administration promising raises of many thousands of dollars within ten years. The Trump administration’s chair of the Council of Economic Advisers argued last April that we were already seeing the positive wage impact of the tax cuts."

Go deeper: A closer look at Trump's invisible tax cut

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Case growth outpacing testing in coronavirus hotspots

Data: The COVID Tracking Project. Note: Vermont and Hawaii were not included because they have fewer than 20 cases per day. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing — particularly not where cases have grown fastest over the last month.

Why it matters: The U.S. doesn't yet know what it looks like when a pandemic rages on relatively unchecked after the health system has become overwhelmed. It may be about to find out.

The impending retail apocalypse

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Because of the coronavirus and people's buying habits moving online, retail stores are closing everywhere — often for good.

Why it matters: Malls are going belly up. Familiar names like J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy. Increasingly, Americans' shopping choices will boil down to a handful of internet Everything Stores and survival-of-the-fittest national chains.

Biden campaign using Instagram to mobilize celebrity supporters

Collins appears on the Build live interview series in November 2019. Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is launching a new initiative today that will draft Hollywood celebrities for Instagram Live chats with campaign officials and other Biden supporters.

Why it matters: The campaign, called #TeamJoeTalks, is an attempt to open up a new front on social media, drawing on celebrities’ Instagram followers to help find and motivate voters while large parts of the country remain locked down.