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Expand chart
Data: Analysis of Household Pulse Survey by Aaron Sojourner and Julia Raifman; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Unvaccinated workers, particularly low-wage earners, were much more likely to miss a full week of work because they had COVID symptoms or were caring for someone with symptoms — even before Omicron, according to a new analysis of December Census data.

Why it matters: Worker absences are causing widespread societal dysfunction — school and day care closures, stores with unstocked shelves, etc.

  • Missing work for these folks typically means missing pay: Only 33% of low-income workers get paid sick leave.

The numbers come from labor economist Aaron Sojourner of the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, and Julia Raifman, a health policy researcher at Boston University who also heads up the COVID-19 U.S. State Policy Database.

The bigger picture: There’s a wide gap in vaccination status between rich and poor and it's hurting everyone.

  • 41% of working-age Americans who earn more than $100,000 are vaxxed and boosted; compared to less than 18% for those earning $50,000 or less, according to Raifman and Sojourner’s analysis.

There's room for growth: 12% of unvaxxed adults, earning less than $25,000, said they want or would consider a vaccine.

What to watch: Data from early January will track whether Omicron forced a growing percentage of vaccinated workers to miss more work.

Go deeper

How Fed policy can narrow racial divides

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics via FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

When the Federal Reserve moves to raise or lower interest rates, it affects nearly every corner of the economy at once, not just one group or another. Fed leaders refer to their tools as blunt instruments.

Why it matters: But it's becoming clearer that the Fed does has surprisingly powerful effects on whether people historically more likely to be on the fringes of the job market, including Black Americans and those with less education, prosper.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations are "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more power outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.