Job seekers wait in line to apply for jobs being offered at the Amazon fulfillment center in Romeoville, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

"American Job Openings Now Outnumber the Jobless," per The Wall Street Journal's Eric Morath (subscription): "U.S. job openings rose to 6.7 million at the end of April, compared with the 6.3 million Americans who were unemployed."

Why it matters: "The labor market is forcing employers to rethink their approach to hiring ... If they can’t find workers to meet the demand for their products, they can’t help the economy grow. They may instead opt to close the restaurant early or not run a third shift at the factory."

  • That's the "the first time since such record-keeping began in 2000" that "the number of available positions exceeded the number of job seekers," according to the Labor Department.
  • What it means for workers: "Firms may need to pay more to attract workers, and some already are."
  • What it means for businesses: That raises costs and would cut profit margins if higher prices can’t be passed on to customers. If prices are raised, that stokes stronger inflation, which already has been accelerating in recent months."

The backdrop: "The jobless rate ticked down ... in May to ... 3.8%, the lowest since April 2000 ... The last time the rate was lower was in 1969, when young men were being drafted into the Vietnam War."

  • But, but, but: "There are, however, still an elevated number of Americans who are stuck in part-time jobs and would prefer full-time work. And others are employed but not in the jobs they want."

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Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Technology

The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.