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Casey Rodgers/AP

Twenty-something men are working many fewer hours than they did a decade and a half ago, according to a new study, and the biggest reason is that they prefer to play video games.

Men aged 21-30 worked 12% fewer hours in 2015 than they did in 2000, according to the study, published Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, and about half the reason is the time they spend gaming.

Why it matters: The results suggest that reduced work for prime-age men is not just or even mostly because they can't find jobs or sufficient hours. It's that, rather than accept what is out there, they choose the contemporary equivalent of hanging out at the pool hall or the race track. In fact, in 2015, roughly 15% of young men worked zero weeks over the year, nearly double the rate in 2000.

Meaning in life: The NBER findings, originally flagged last year, say that the decline in work hours by men 21-30 almost exactly mirrored their time spent on leisure — mostly video gaming. In the New York Times, Jane McGonigal, a video game scholar, suggested that games offer this young cohort something lacking in available jobs — a meaning to life, specifically that "I'm trying to improve this skill, teammates are counting on me, and my online community is relying on me."

  • A lot more men in this age group are living with their parents or some other close relative -- 35% of them in 2015, compared with 23% in 2000.
  • But they are not unhappy or aimless, according to Erik Hurst, one of the paper's authors. Their attitude, he tells the Times, may be, "why not have a little fun in your 20s and work in your 80s?"

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Internal CDC presentation warns: "The war has changed"

Graphic: CDC via The Washington Post

Unpublished research indicates that the Delta variant causes more severe illness and spreads as easily as chickenpox, and that vaccinated people may transmit the strain as easily as those who are unvaccinated, according to an internal CDC presentation obtained by WashPost.

Why it matters: The data played a key role in the CDC's decision to tell vaccinated people to resume masking indoors, with the presentation calling on health officials to "acknowledge the war has changed," The Post reports.

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🏊: Olympic swimmer Ryan Murphy wins Silver in 200m

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Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Exclusive: Lawmakers urge probe into DOJ's alleged racial profiling of Asians

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nearly 100 members of Congress are urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the Justice Department's alleged racial profiling of Asians, according to a letter shared with Axios.

Why it matters: The case of Anming Hu, a scientist who was baselessly targeted in an espionage probe, has renewed scrutiny of the DOJ after an FBI agent admitted to falsely implicating the Chinese Canadian.