Daily Briefing – 421

US Job Openings Rose to 11 Million in October

Open positions in the US rose to 11 million from 10.4 million in October, according to Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, data published Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected openings to climb to 10.5 million. That means October’s figure was just shy of the all-time record of 11.1 million openings, from July.

The report suggests the labor market remained unusually  

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Daily Briefing – 420

US Trade Deficit Saw Big Export-Fueled Drop in October

Strong American export business caused a large drop in the U.S. trade deficit last month, even as imports also rose, according to government data released Tuesday. The gap between imports and exports of goods and services dropped 17.6% to $67.1 billion last month, bringing the trade deficit down from a record hit the month before, the Commerce Department reported.

Exports jumped $16.8 billion from  

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Daily Briefing – 419

Congress Forced to Go into December Overtime

Both the House and Senate were scheduled to leave Washington, D.C., for the year at the end of the week.  The House has formally added a week to its schedule, meaning the lower chamber will now start its break by Dec. 20, while senators are warning they could remain in session right up until Christmas. 

Congress passed a short-term government funding bill last week, taking one item off its plate. But it  

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Daily Briefing – 418

U.S. Factory Orders Rise More Than Expected in October

The Commerce Department said on Friday that factory orders increased 1.0% in October. Data for September was revised higher to show orders gaining 0.5% instead of 0.2% as previously reported.  Orders increased surged 17.1% on a year-on-year basis. Shipments rose 2.0% after advancing 1.0% in September. Inventories at factories gained 0.8% in October. Unfilled orders rose 0.3% after increasing 0.7%  

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Daily Briefing – 417

Manufacturers Facing Supply Headaches as Omicron Risks Emerge

Global factory activity accelerated in November although crippling supply bottlenecks remained, putting a cap on output and driving up the cost of raw materials, according to surveys published on Wednesday. The November surveys likely did not reflect the spread of the Omicron variant, which could add further pressure on pandemic-disrupted supply chains, with many countries imposing fresh border  

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Daily Briefing – 416

Euro Zone Inflation Rate Hits a Record 4.9% for November

Headline inflation came in at 4.9% for the month, compared to the same month last year. This was above a consensus forecast of 4.5% from Reuters and was higher than October’s 4.1%. The figure was the highest on record in the 25 years that the data has been compiled.  The question going forward is how the ECB will square the high inflation readings with uncertainty over the pandemic.

In Germany  

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Daily Briefing – 415

G7 Health Ministers: Threat of ‘Highly Transmissible’ Omicron Requires ‘Urgent Action’

G7 health ministers said Monday that the threat of what may be a ‘highly transmissible’ Covid-19 variant ‘requires urgent action’ worldwide. First identified in South Africa, Omicron has spread to at least 14 other countries, prompting several nations to step up containment measures. It could take “days to several weeks” to understand the level of severity of the variant, warned  

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Daily Briefing – 414

“Caution, Not Panic” – What to Know About the Omicron Variant 

If there is one lesson the covid-19 pandemic has taught the world, it is that acting early pays off. Wait a week for better data on which to base a decision and you can find yourself down a path of no return, with cases rising steeply. There is too little research to draw conclusions, with experts urging caution but not panic. Studies are underway to examine how vaccines hold up against the new  

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Daily Briefing – 413

OSHA Files Documents with 6th Circuit Seeking to Reinstate Vaccine Mandate for Private Companies

In court papers filed overnight, the administration urged a Cincinnati-based federal appeals court to lift a court order blocking the public health rule, which requires larger businesses to have employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo regular testing and mask-wearing. The extensive Tuesday court submission filed by OSHA, which came in a lengthy 55-page brief, underscored just how important  

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Daily Briefing – 412

Jerome Powell To Get Second Term as Fed Chairman 

President Biden is set to nominate Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to a second term leading the central bank, the White House said Monday, opting for continuity in U.S. economic policy despite pushback from some Democrats who wanted someone tougher on bank regulations and climate change. Mr. Biden will also nominate Fed governor Lael Brainard as vice chair of the central bank’s board of  

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Daily Briefing – 411

Schumer-McConnell Work Toward Debt Ceiling Deal

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer  and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell are dialing down the drama as they try to find an escape hatch from another high-stakes fight over the debt ceiling. Congress has until roughly Dec. 15 to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who has warned that the mid-December date is when the government will no longer be able  

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Daily Briefing – 410

Empire State Survey Supplemental Questions on Supply Disruptions and Workforce

Supplementary questions in the November 2021 Empire State Manufacturing Survey  focused on supply disruptions, expected changes in firms’ workforces, factors underlying the changes and recent trends in wages. With respect to supply disruptions, almost no respondents said that conditions had improved,
whereas nearly two-thirds of manufacturers said they had worsened. Responses about the  

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Apprenticeship Programs – Educational Pathways Embracing the Student and the Employer

Finding pathways for the student who wants the option of working while attending college has been difficult.  There has been the internship model where students pay for credits and then work to gain experience from a local employer.  Now students have another option as colleges embrace apprenticeship programs currently making their presence at many local community colleges.

Apprenticeship programs  

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Daily Briefing – 409

Empire State Manufacturing Survey: Activity Grows “Swiftly” 

Manufacturing activity grew swiftly in New York State, according to the November survey.  Here are some key stats:

  • The general business conditions index climbed eleven points to 30.9. 
  • The new orders index rose five points to 28.8, and the shipments index shot up nineteen points to 28.2, indicating strong growth in both orders and shipments.
  • The unfilled orders index edged down to 12.7. The delivery times index came in at 32.2, indicating significantly longer delivery times. Inventories increased modestly.
  • The index for number of employees rose nine points to 26.0, a record high
  • The average workweek index increased eight points to 23.1, pointing to strong gains in employment and hours worked.
  • The prices paid index edged up four points to 83.0
  • and the prices received index moved up seven points to a record high of 50.8, signaling ongoing substantial increases in both input prices and selling prices.
  • Firms were less optimistic about the six-month outlook than they were last month, with the index for future business conditions falling fifteen points to 36.9.
  • The indexes for future new orders and shipments fell to similar levels.

Read more at the NY Fed

Biden Weighs Choice of Jerome Powell or Lael Brainard as Fed Chair

President Biden is expected to decide as soon as this week whether to appoint Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell or governor Lael Brainard to a four-year term leading the central bank beginning next February. Because Ms. Brainard’s views on inflation and  

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Daily Briefing – 408

Record-High 11 Million Job Openings 

The Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS report, released on Friday, reflects an uneven economy with strong demand grinding against labor and goods shortages, driving overall inflation to its biggest annual gain in 31 years. Quits rose by about 164,000 in September, lifting the total to a record high of 4.4 million. The quits rate is seen as a good measure  

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Daily Briefing – 407

U.S. Inflation Reached 30-Year High in October

U.S. inflation hit a three-decade high in October—rising at a 6.2% annual rate—as pandemic-related supply shortages and continued strength in consumer demand continued to push up prices. The Labor Department said the consumer-price index, which measures what consumers pay for goods and services, increased at the fastest annual pace since 1990. Inflation also topped 5% for the fifth straight  

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Daily Briefing – 406

Producer Prices Rise 8.6%, Matching September Record High

The Labor Department reported Tuesday that its producer price index — which measures inflation before it hits consumers — rose 0.6% last month from September, pushed higher by surging gasoline prices. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, wholesale inflation was up 0.4% in October from September and 6.8% from a year ago.

More than 60% of the September-October increase in overall producer  

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Daily Briefing – 404

House Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill -Heads to President for Signature into Law, Rule to Advance Larger Social Spending Bill Also Passes House

The House late Friday passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill by a vote of 218-203. Lawmakers sent the legislation to Biden’s desk after a weeks-long standoff over Democrats’ larger $1.75 trillion social spending package, which progressives demanded be passed in tandem with the bipartisan bill.

The lower chamber on Friday night advanced a rule that establishes debate parameters  

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Daily Briefing – 403

OSHA Issues Vaccine ETS – Rules Mean Millions of Workers Must Get Shots by Jan. 4 or Test Weekly

The requirements released Thursday by the Labor Department apply to employers with 100 or more employees. While the administration has said the requirements are necessary to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, they have drawn opposition from many Republicans.

Companies subject to the rules must ensure that employees who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19 produce a negative test at least weekly and wear  

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Daily Briefing – 402

CDC Advisers Approves Pfizer Shot for Young Children Ages 5-11

A federal advisory committee unanimously recommended Tuesday that kids ages 5 to 11 receive Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, setting the stage for mass vaccination of America’s elementary school children. Children in this age group could begin getting shots as soon as this week, once the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signs off, as expected.   

Data  

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Daily Briefing – 401

Manchin Holds Off Support of Spending Bill Until Infrastructure Vote is Held

Manchin called a press conference at the Capitol on Monday and railed against House progressives, accusing them of holding the infrastructure bill “hostage” while warning the tactics won’t force him to commit to the separate $1.75 trillion spending bill before he is ready.  “The political games have to stop,” Manchin said. “Holding this bill hostage is not  

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Daily Briefing – 400

GDP Rate of Growth Slows Significantly

The US economy grew at an annualized rate of only 2% in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday. Aside from the monumental downturn in the first half of 2020, when the economy ground to a halt amid lockdowns, it was also the worst quarterly performance since the final quarter of 2019, when GDP grew at a pace of 1.9%.

The highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus,  

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Daily Briefing – 399

Striketober: Kellogg Negotiates, Deere Litigates, and Amazon Faces New Organizing Push

A dominant feature of the American economy over the past few decades has been sluggish wage growth, albeit with decent gains just before the pandemic. The question now is whether Striketober signals a clearer turning-point, a shift in the balance of power towards labor. Workers have reason for guarded optimism.

As worker strikes at two different manufacturers stretch on for weeks, their employers’  

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Daily Briefing – 398

FDA Panel Recommends Authorizing Pfizer COVID Vaccine for Younger Kids

The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted 17-0, with one abstention, to recommended the agency authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children between the ages of 5 and 11. Some members of the panel said they felt the recommendation was too broad. Not all children will need the vaccine, they argued, or some may only need a single dose because they’ve  

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