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Daily Briefing 144

Post: Sep. 8, 2020

Four States Added to Incoming Travel Advisory – 2 Territories Removed

Governor Cuomo yesterday announced four additional states—Delaware, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia—meet the metrics to qualify for New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory. Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands have been removed. The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

Cuomo: We Need to be “Vigilant and Smart” Post Labor Day

New York State’s COVID-19 infection rate has been below 1 percent for 32 straight days.  “We’re entering a new, different post-Labor Day phase. After Labor Day, people start to get back to work, schools are opening, activity is increasing, colleges are opening, you see traffic starting to increase. So we have to keep that in mind as we move forward and we need to remain vigilant and smart so that we don’t backslide” Governor Cuomo said. 

The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and many other helpful data points are always available at forward.ny.gov.

K12 Reporting Site, Dashboard Will Go Live Later Today

Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order on Tuesday to ensure that all K-12 school districts in New York State will report COVID-19 testing data. The Executive Order ensures that all schools, local health departments, labs, and testing sites report the data to that state, which will help keep parents, teachers, and students apprised of the situation in their district and region. 

The dashboard can be accessed here.

NAM Economic Report – Mfg Jobs, Mfg Activity, Mfg Construction and More

Manufacturers added 29,000 workers in August, slowing but extending the 41,000 gain in employment in July. Despite increases over the past four months, the labor market remains well below its pre-COVID-19 pace, with manufacturing employment down 720,000 since February. As such, sizable labor market challenges continue despite recent progress. The current outlook is for manufacturing employment to bounce back to roughly 12,350,000 workers by year’s end, up from 12,132,000 in August but down from the pre-pandemic pace of 12,852,000 in February.

Monday Economic Report 2020-0908

Updated US DOL COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act FAQs

The Department of Labor updated its FAQs for issues relating to COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act. As a reminder, not all employee leave taken during the pandemic will be considered an eligible reason for leave under the FMLA.

Read more at the US DOL

Vacation Hot Spots: Managing Employee Travel During a Pandemic

Council of Industry Associate Member and friend Jackson Lewis writes that as states reopen and travel restrictions are lifted, how can manufacturers manage the risk of employees returning from vacation travel and potentially putting other employees or customers at higher risk of catching COVID-19?

Manufacturers should review their current safety and leave policies and expect that more employees may travel to COVID-19 “hot spots.” Employers should consider The following options:

Read more at Jackson Lewis

MFG Day Will Go Virtual October 2 (and the Whole Month of October) 

In advance of this year’s MFG Day, on Oct. 2, The Manufacturing Institute held a webinar to help manufacturers plan virtual events. A few tips are below:

  • Provide a welcome message from senior leadership.
  • Offer an overview of the importance of manufacturing to the economy in your community.
  • Lay out what your company does and give participants a sense of its career offerings.
  • Film a video tour of your facility to show viewers the technology and tools you use every day.
  • Record interviews with employees or a conversation with a panel to allow young people to hear directly from the people who work at your business.
  • Create a survey to track how the event changes your audience’s perceptions of manufacturing—for example, asking participants about their interest in a manufacturing career both before and after your presentation.

A recap of the webinar can be found here.

Factory Owners Hiking Pay to Lure Workers 

U.S. manufacturing expanding in August at its fastest pace since late 2018. That has employers racing to bulk up staff to keep production rolling and satisfy demand. Pay increases are surfacing against a bleak backdrop. While joblessness has fallen from its April peak above 14 per cent, it’s still at a high level.

The labor-shortage paradox comes even as manufacturing employment is still down around 720,000 workers since before the pandemic started in February, said Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers. It suggests the ample supply of available labor hasn’t necessarily cured the nation’s skills gap, where workers don’t have the qualifications employers need, and the pandemic probably will speed up the use of robotics that’s already under way, Moutray said.

Read more at Bloomberg