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July 29, 2022
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“The Line”

Saudi Arabia’s new project to build a 105-mile-long mirrored city. Talk about a mirage. 

DTR: Define the Recession

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The story

The new GDP report is raising some eyebrows.

What’s the damage?

The US economy shrank 0.9% last quarter — the second drop in a row. The common definition for a recession is a two-quarter drop — regardless of how much. But some, like the Biden admin, say that despite that rule of thumb, we’re not yet in recession territory. The National Bureau of Economic Research is the group that makes the final judgment call.

Where have they landed on this?

The group — a private non-profit consisting of eight economists — could take months to decide. And the bureau has a longer checklist than just back-to-back GDP drops. That includes household income, spending (hi, inflation), employment levels, and industrial production. Meanwhile, things could still be salvaged. The stock market didn’t react strongly to the report. The housing market is cooling off but hasn’t crashed. We aren’t seeing mass layoffs. So the debate about ’are we or aren’t we’ (in a recession) is ongoing — as are the allegations that the debate itself is political.


By one definition, the US is in a recession. By others, it's still hanging on. But many are waiting on more telltale signs to determine where our country stands — and are keeping close tabs on inflation as the next gauge. 

And Also...This

Where employees went off-brand...

Trader Joe's. Yesterday, workers at a store in western Massachusetts voted to become the company’s first-ever to unionize. As the indie pop star of the grocery store set, Trader Joe’s is known for being *different.* The company has built a cult following with its low prices, frozen foods, and company culture. But when the company rolled back COVID-19 mask restrictions and some health benefits, workers at the store in Hadley, MA, struggled. In May of this year, almost two dozen reportedly called in sick. Some were also frustrated with the company for reversing pandemic-era pay bumps. Trader Joe’s says its benefits, pay, and working conditions are among the best in the biz. But the company says that it’s “prepared to immediately begin discussions” with union reps.

PS: Workers at companies from Starbucks to Apple to Delta have been pushing to unionize recently. Here’s what’s behind the trend.


What’s been playing hard to get…

Spirit Airlines. Yesterday, the Florida-based company announced it’s coupling up with JetBlue in a $3.8 billion deal. The announcement comes after Spirit gave JetBlue the cold shoulder for offering $2 million less back in May, countering its motto of “Less Money. More Go.” And a day after Spirit put the kibosh on a merger with fellow low-cost carrier Frontier, saying shareholders weren’t big fans. Now, Spirit and JetBlue could fly off into the sunset together…as long as regulators give their stamp of approval. That could come in 2024. Still pending: free legroom and snacks.

PS: If you're traveling soon, don’t forget to pack patience. We have answers to your summer travel questions here.


Who racked up a big international phone bill…

China and the US. Yesterday, President Biden spent more than two hours on the phone with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping. One of the big talkers: Taiwan. ICYMI, China views the self-governing island as a breakaway province and has said reuniting the two “must be fulfilled.” And has ramped up activity over Taiwan’s airspace. It’s got a lot of people seeing parallels between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s plans for Taiwan…and Biden warning of a military response if China invades. Now, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) potentially traveling to Taiwan, China’s warning the US against "playing with fire." 


Where people are watching closely...

Kentucky. Yesterday, at least eight people were killed and others are missing amid catastrophic flooding in the eastern part of the state. Thousands are without power and hundreds are expected to lose their homes. Gov. Andy Beshear (D) says the situation could “worsen” as more rain was expected overnight and asked for “continued prayers.”


What’s standing between us and about $1.1 billion…

Six random numbers


While America runs on Dunkin’…

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) runs on his manhood.


While Beyoncé’s getting us in formation…

Here’s more good news.

In Case You Missed It

If you’ve always got 10 tabs open, we get it. So much to browse, so little time. Which is why we’ve rounded up some of our fave recent product recs so you don’t miss a thing. Check out…

Spot the Difference

Together withPCAskin Trust the experts
Design: theSkimm | Photo: PCA Skin

It’s officially SPF szn. But even if you’re going full coastal grandma with your sun coverage this summer, dark spots and discoloration — aka hyperpigmentation — can pop up. Enter: PCA Skin®. Their daily products are color-correcting no matter the cause. Check out…

PS: Skimm’rs get a deluxe, travel-sized discoloration-targeting, glow-inducing kit with any $135+ purchase.

Skimm Picks

Here are today’s recs to help you live a smarter life…

1. Hair accessories that look more expensive than they are. From claw clips to barrettes, we've found the best things that'll hold back your locks while saving you a pretty penny. And if you're always dealing with knots, grab a detangling brush. Win-win.

2. Where to find jeans with that “it” fit. Aka major main character energy. Hint: It’s Old Navy. With 20+ styles, they’ve got denim for days. We’re talking straight, flare, wide leg, tapered, and skinny styles you’ll wanna wear…well, everywhere. In sizes 0–30. Shop on.*

3. Our review of Goodles macaroni and cheese. Say hello to comfort food packed with nutrients and protein. With flavors like cacio e pepe and aged white cheddar, read up to see if they're worth a spot in your pantry.

4. The best sales to shop this week. A midsummer sale at Sur La Table and deals on back-to-school items at Society6 have us realizing that the season is slipping through our fingers. Shop now so you can make the most of it later.


We like to celebrate the wins, big and small. Let us know how your friends, neighbors, coworkers (and yes, even you) are making career moves, checking off goals, or making an impact in the community.

Professional, kind of…Adeleine W (OH). She created a blog to comment on life, give advice when possible, and connect with other people in the same boat — which is a sort-of adult and a professional.

(Some) Birthdays…Dana Stone (NY), Joey Lane (NY), theSkimm's Becky Murray (NJ), theSkimm's Rashaan Ayesh (VA), theSkimm's Michelle Simon (NY), Kevin Frey (GA), Matt Stuczynski (OH), Elena Gallo (IL), Jody Herbert (IL), Andrea Dacey (CA), Rhea Allen (NJ), Eriel Cavanaugh (FL), Kathryn Prieto (CA), Ural Grant (NY), Norma Delp (TX)

PS: Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.

Skimm More

ICYMI: It’s been hot lately. Even for summer standards. This week on “Skimm This,” we break down the consequences of extreme heat, how it disproportionately impacts low income communities, and the best ways to plan for triple digit temps. Listen now.

theSkimm Loyalty Program

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It’s the final day to win one of 10 Gifts to Celebrate 10 Years of Skimm’ng*. And while we’ll keep getting loud at theSkimm, we want to gift one Skimm’r a JBL speaker…because there are lots of voices to amplify. Cheers to the past 10 years, our Skimm’rs, and what’s to come. Log in or enroll here to get in on it.

Skimm’d by Rashaan Ayesh, Kate Gilhool, Julie Shain, and Mariza Smajlaj

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