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Daily Briefing – 148

Post: Sep. 14, 2020

OECD: G20 Q2 GDP Declines by 6.2%

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published data on national economies for G20 countries in Quarter 2 of 2020. As a whole, the G20 economy contracted by 6.9% from Quarter 1. This contraction is an all-time record and more than 4 times what was observed during the peak of the 2009 global financial crisis. Of the G20 countries, China was the only one to report economic growth (+11.5%). Excluding China, the combined economy of the rest of the G20 contracted by 11.8%. Notably, India’s economy contracted by more than 25%, and the UK’s contacted by more than 20%. Across all OECD countries, the combined economy contracted by 10.6%. 

See the report at OECD.org

Press Release: Infection Rate .92% 

The Governor issued a press release this afternoon detailing New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Sunday, September 13th. New York’s infection rate was 0.92%, the 38th straight day below one percent. Governor Cuomo reminded New Yorkers we have made progress but the pandemic is not over and it is important to continue to remain New York tough and to follow all state and local guidance.

Read the press release

Cuomo Announces $9 Million Awarded as Part of New York’s  Workforce Development Initiative

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 66 businesses, schools, and community-based organizations across the state have been awarded nearly $9 million as part of the State’s historic Workforce Development Initiative. The grants are federally funded and will support job training opportunities across the State for more than 3,600 New Yorkers adapting to the post-COVID economy. 

As New York has moved forward through the reopening process, the New York State Department of Labor has been working to connect every job seeker in New York with the right job opportunity. DOL has been encouraging both businesses in need of workers, and New Yorkers in need of a job, to take advantage of their Jobs Express website.

Monday Economic Report: Manufacturers’ Outlook Rebounding, Small Business Optimism Improving

In the latest NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, 66.0% of respondents reported a positive outlook for their company in the third quarter, up from 33.9% in the second quarter, which had been the worst reading since the Great Recession. However, the outlook measure remains below the historical average of 74.4%. Weak domestic demand continued to be the top primary business challenge.

Meanwhile the Small Business Optimism Index from the National Federation of Independent Business rose in August above the all-important threshold of 100, which is traditionally consistent with small business growth. Despite some progress, small business owners continued to cite lingering challenges, with an insufficient workforce once again the top “single most important problem.”

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Moves Ahead In the UK, Remains Halted in US

U.S. trials of AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate will be on hold until at least midweek, pending a Federal Drug Administration investigation into the side effect that caused trials to be halted earlier this month, Reuters reported Monday, citing sources familiar with the matter. AstraZeneca on Saturday said U.K. clinical trials had resumed. The vaccine candidate’s trials were halted after a reported side effect in a U.K. patient. Reuters said new-patient enrollment and other steps in the U.S. trial are being rescheduled until at least midweek and it was not clear how long federal regulators would take to complete its investigation.

Read more at MarketWatch

JP Morgan Tells Trading-Floor Staff to Come Back to the Office

JPMorgan Chase executives told senior employees of the bank’s giant sales and trading operation that they and their teams must return to the office by Sept. 21, according to people familiar with the matter. the move bucks a trend by other large organizations that are giving employees more time to return. 

Trading chief Troy Rohrbaugh and Marc Badrichani, the bank’s global head of sales and research, delivered the message in conference calls Wednesday morning, the people said. The two executives said employees with child-care issues and medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to coronavirus complications can continue working from home, the people added.

Read more in the WSJ

Savvy Employers are Investing in Opportunistic Hiring Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Some talent acquisition experts and HR leaders agree that with millions of new entrants into the job market, employers that are focused on recruiting will be well-positioned to fill critical roles with suddenly accessible top talent at all levels, from executives to front-line workers.

“There’s more available talent than there’s ever been,” says Elizabeth Birrell, head of insight and talent analytics at Armstrong Craven, a talent mapping and executive search firm in Manchester, England. “Millions of people will be without jobs, and millions of jobs without people. Talent teams that can be decisive and invest in high-performers have unprecedented access to people from hard-hit industries who find themselves looking for work, sometimes for the first time in years.”

Read more at SHRM

Federal and State Civil Immunity from COVID-19 Lawsuits

Michael D. Shalhoub and Steven S. Vahidi of the Claims Journal write, that business leaders say liability immunity is necessary in order to protect against abusive and meritless lawsuits. The stakes are high. Big and small businesses alike are targets for opportunistic lawsuits. Just the mere threat of litigation may cause many businesses to remain closed or delay reopening because few businesses can afford the costs of defending a lawsuit following weeks of business disruption amid the sudden economic recession.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers across the country are already recruiting individuals to sue businesses by pouring millions of dollars into advertising.”

Read more in the Claims Journal