UFA, Russia- Following a loss in the semifinals of the 2021 UWW Junior World Championships, USAFA sophomore Wyatt Hendrickson still had the opportunity to take home the bronze medal at the event, where he was matched up against Russia’s Andrei Bestaev in his final match of the 125 kg. freestyle tournament. 

After Hendrickson jumped out to an initial 3-0 lead, Bestaev scored seven unanswered points in the second session of the bout, defeating the Kansan 7-3. Bestaev was awarded the bronze medal, while Hendrickson claimed fifth overall. Air Force Academy head wrestling coach Sam Barber, who traveled to Russia with his pupil and coached in his corner, could not have had stronger words of praise in regards to his wrestler.

“I’m proud of the way Wyatt competed with pride, poise, fight, and grit,” said Barber. “He represented our Academy with distinction and honor. There are no moral victories, however he wrestled the best in the world and out-fought them. The experience of wrestling the best athletes on the planet, being a part of an outstanding team with great athletes and coaches, while experiencing the passion the Russians have for their national sport will provide dividends of personal and athletic growth in his future.”

The match started out with both wrestlers feeling each other out and hand fighting for the first minute and a half, before Hendrickson forced Bestaev out of the circle at the 4:11 mark to score the first point. Another minute passed before Hendrickson shot for a leg and created a takedown to extend his lead to 3-0, as the score remained the same at the 30-second intermission. Bestaev however, was much more aggressive coming out of the timeout, forcing Hendrickson out of the circle with 2:31 remaining. Hendrickson’s 3-1 lead disappeared 40 seconds later, as the cadet shot for a takedown and was beautifully countered by the Russian, who converted the reversal of position into a four-point takedown. 

Trailing 5-3, Hendrickson remained aggressive. With roughly 25 seconds left on the clock, he attempted to create a takedown, though Bestaev’s strong defense withstood the attack, as the Russian sprawled and leveraged himself on top of Hendrickson to score a two-point takedown. Bestaev then controlled Hendrickson from top position as the clock hit zeroes. 

Hendrickson became only the second active Academy wrestler to partake in the vastly-unique Junior World Championships, as both he and the other, 2019 USAFA graduate Alex Mossing, were coached by Barber. The Academy’s head coach was humbled by the privilege to travel to Russia with his wrestler.

“We are both grateful for the opportunity afforded to us and would like to say thank you to USA Wrestling, General Richard Clark, Mr. Nathan Pine, and Mrs. Jen Block for their support in allowing us to be here. And thank you to our Air Force wrestling fans for the kind words of encouragement and support.”

Team USA eventually placed third overall (129 points), with Russia taking second (142 points) and

Why are consumer prices rising?

Some shoppers may have noticed that their grocery bills are higher lately. Prices for energy and used cars and trucks are also up. Jayson Lusk, head of the agricultural economics department at Purdue University, said that multiple factors have been pushing up food prices, including China purchasing more American products recently, more people driving and pandemic-related challenges in supply chains and workforces. Also, wages are up, although productivity has been growing faster than labor compensation for decades. “I expect inflation to probably continue for the next half a year, at least,” Lusk said.

Read more about inflation here.

What does the CDC’s most recent mask guidance mean for stores and their workers?

By now you’ve heard the news on that guidance: Vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask indoors in most settings. Still, local governments and businesses are permitted to require them. Mask mandates have been tricky, even dangerous, for public-facing businesses to navigate. Retail workers around the country have been harassed and physically attacked while enforcing mask mandates. “The updated guidance has created an impossible situation for retailers,” said Lisa LaBruno, senior executive vice president of retail operations & innovation with the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “There is now ambiguity in expectations, both from retail team members and from customers.”

Why do you have to be out of work for more than six months before you’re classified as “long-term unemployed”?

After all, people start feeling the stress and financial hardship of long-term unemployment before they hit the 27-week mark. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.2 million Americans are long-term unemployed. Patrick Carey, an assistant commissioner in the Office of Employment and Unemployment at the statistics bureau, has one explanation. “The breakout of 27 or more weeks accords well with the maximum length of time that many states offer regular unemployment insurance benefits,” Carey said.

WASHINGTON — The number of claims for unemployment benefits fell last week for a fifth straight week to a new pandemic low, the latest evidence that the U.S. job market is regaining its health as the economy further reopens.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims dropped to 385,000, down 20,000 from the week before. The number of weekly applications for unemployment aid, which generally reflects the pace of layoffs, has fallen steadily all year, though it remains high by historical standards.

The decline in applications reflects a swift rebound in economic growth and the job market’s steady recovery from the coronavirus recession. More Americans are venturing out to shop, travel, dine out and congregate at entertainment venues. All that renewed spending has led companies to seek new workers.

In Maine, initial claims for state and federal jobless benefits increased to 1,500 last week from 1,200 the previous week. Initial state claims had reached a pandemic low of about 1,000 claims during the week ending May 22.

Continuing weekly claims continued to decline in Maine, falling by about 1,600 claims to to 39,000 last week.

Employers have added 1.8 million jobs this year – an average of more than 450,000 a month – and the government’s May jobs report on Friday is expected to show that they added an additional 656,000 last month, according to a survey of economists by the data firm FactSet. The economy remains down 8.2 million jobs from its level in February 2020, just before the virus tore through the economy.

AnnElizabeth Konkel, economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, noted that the number of people who are collecting traditional state unemployment benefits rose by 169,000 in the week of May 22 to nearly 3.8 million.

“Reviving a labor market after a deadly pandemic is complicated,” she said. “Not all indicators move at the same speed or take the same recovery path. Hopefully, the COVID-19 cases continue to decline as the number of fully vaccinated individuals rises. Fully returning to pre-COVID normal is essential to a full labor market recovery.”

In the meantime, U.S. employers are posting a record number of available jobs. And many of them have complained that they can’t find enough workers to meet rising customer demand.

Job growth slowed sharply in April compared compared with March, a pullback that was widely attributed to a labor shortage in some industries, especially at restaurants and other employers in the hospitality sector.

At least 25 states have responded by announcing plans to cut off some emergency federal aid to the unemployed – including a $300-a-week federal benefit – as early as next week. Critics argue that the extra federal unemployment aid, on top of regular state jobless benefits, discourages some of the jobless from seeking work.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid, which topped 900,000 in early January, have fallen steadily all year, though they remain high by historical standards: Before COVID-19 all but paralyzed the economy in March 2020, claims were regularly coming in

“The recent uptick in leisure travel for spring and summer is encouraging for hotels, however, business travel—the largest source of hotel revenue—is down 85% and is not expected to begin its slow return until the second half of this year,” the study reads.