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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The May jobs report provided an injection of optimism, but it's too early to feel confident about the wage growth picture.

Why it matters: Employers have had to raise wages to incentivize workers to come back or to stay. It's unclear how much higher they're willing to go.

  • Last month average hourly earnings rose half a percent, while weekly earnings ticked up just a quarter percent versus April.
  • Average hourly earnings grew nearly 3% for leisure and hospitality roles — where job growth has been strongest — between March and May, notes Invesco's Hooper.

What to watch: In the fall, when schools reopen and supplemental unemployment benefits go away, the data will present a clearer picture of how willing employers are to continue raising wages.

Go deeper

Workers gain upper hand for first time in a generation

Activists call for a full minimum wage with tips for restaurant workers in Washington, DC in May 2021. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has recalibrated the power dynamics between employers and would-be employees in favor of workers, and this shift "could persist for years," the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: With workers having the upper hand, employers are trying to lure them into the workforce by offering higher wages and more benefits, as well as loosening up the stringent requirements for potential applicants.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
8 mins ago - Energy & Environment

A $1 billion plan to deploy clean power in developing nations

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Two foundations just unveiled a $1 billion initiative to help deliver clean energy to huge numbers of people worldwide who lack electricity access — and they hope it catalyzes vastly more outside capital.

Driving the news: The Rockefeller and Ikea foundations said the new program "aims to reduce 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and to empower 1 billion people with distributed renewable energy."

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
33 mins ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Sweetgreen files for IPO

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sweetgreen, one of the earliest "better for you" quick-serve restaurant chains, has filed confidentially for an IPO, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Why it matters: The company has been a rumored IPO candidate for years, and now is coming out as a post-pandemic growth play.