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Economics in the News -- July 19-25, 2021 How economics impacts our lives on a daily basis

Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week related to economics.

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." -- Stephen King, author
The aviation recovery is exceeding expectations. On a recent Sunday, Transportation Security Association (TSA) agents screened more than 2.2 million travelers, the most in one day since March 2020. For a brief period in July, consumer spending on airlines exceeded 2019 levels on a weekly basis for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

As demand for domestic travel is increasing among the airlines, international travel has slowly started to recover as countries open up to travelers who are fully vaccinated or can prove a negative COVID-19 test. The demand for travel has prompted hiring across the industry. [The New York Times]

Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team has chosen a new name – the Guardians. The team, which has been known as the Indians since the 1915 season, announced that it will transition to Guardians at the end of the 2021 baseball season.

The Guardians name was inspired by the large landmark stone known as edifices – referred to as traffic guardians – on both ends of the Hope Memorial Bridge that connects Cleveland to Ohio City. Cleveland’s MLB organization went through a list of nearly 1,200 potential names and included the opinions of fans, local and community leaders and front office personnel to reach the decision. [Associated Press]

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the Summer Olympic Games one year, but the Olympics officially opened Friday night in an opening ceremony inside a nearly empty Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. The Olympics are taking place despite anger and opposition from Japanese citizens due to a state of emergency in Tokyo amid a rising number of cases involving the delta variant.

At the opening ceremony, organizers held a moment of silence for those that have died during the pandemic. Fans have been banned from attending events in person, leaving athletes to compete in mostly empty arenas and stadiums. [Associated Press]

In half of all states last year more people died than were born. Early estimates for the period that ended July 1, 2020 show that total population growth grew 0.35 percent and was the lowest ever recorded. Population is a key economic driver and is an important influencer in the size of the labor market.

America’s population growth has been in decline for nearly a decade and the COVID-19 pandemic is playing a key role in the latest drop. Millennials are having fewer children due to extended financial insecurities and women’s rising educational priorities. Immigration accounted for nearly one-third to half of the population growth of the past decade and could see a resurgence as President Joe Biden’s administration eased some of the policies from former President Donald Trump’s administration. [The Wall Street Journal]

While shippers are delivering a record volume of imports from Asia to the West Coast due to overwhelming demand, exports from this past June were at their lowest levels since 2005.

The demand for container ships to carry imports to the US is so great, that it is cost-effective for many container ships to return to Asia empty, putting farmers and other exporters in a bind. [NPR]

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All photos credited to iStock