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Daily Briefing – 149

Post: Sep. 15, 2020

Six States Removed From Restricted List

The Governor issued a press release yesterday announcing six states (California, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada and Ohio) have been removed from the mandatory quarantine requirements for travelers entering New York. The Northern Mariana Islands have also been removed. Puerto Rico has once again met the metrics to qualify for the quarantine requirements for travelers. That leaves 27 states and 3 territories on the restricted list.

The release also provides an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Monday, September 14th. Of the 73,678 test results reported to the State, 1.0% (766) were positive.

Bipartisan U.S. Lawmaker Group Unveil $1.5 Trillion COVID-19 Aid Bill

The Problem Solvers Caucus, including 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans, has been working to find common ground on coronavirus relief for the past six weeks. Representative Tom Reed, the Problem Solvers’ Republican co-chairman, said Republican leaders and the White House were “positive” about the plan. “They want to get a deal,” he told reporters.

The new bipartisan House proposal includes another round of direct checks to Americans, $500 billion for state and local governments, and jobless benefits, with spending lasting through January’s presidential inauguration.

Read more at Reuters

NY Fed Empire Manufacturing Survey: Activity Expanded at a “Solid Clip”

Business activity expanded at a solid clip in New York State, according to firms responding to the September 2020 Empire State Manufacturing Survey.

  • The headline general business conditions index climbed thirteen points to 17.0.
  • New orders increased modestly, and shipments grew significantly.
  • Unfilled orders continued to decline.
  • Inventories edged slightly lower, and
  • Delivery times were somewhat longer.
  • Employment was again little changed this month, though the average workweek picked up.
  • Input prices increased at a faster pace than in August, and selling prices continued to increase modestly.

Looking ahead, firms remained optimistic that conditions would improve over the next six months.

Read the full survey report

Fed: Manufacturing Production Increases in August

U.S. factory output increased solidly in August, though momentum is slowing as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.

The Federal Reserve said on Tuesday that manufacturing production rose 1.0% last month after surging 3.9% in July. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing output would rise 1.2% in August. Overall industrial output was up 0.4% in August, also down from July but the fourth straight month-over-month gain.

Read more at Reuters

China’s Economy Picks Up Speed

China’s economic recovery accelerated in August, with retail sales, the last holdout among the economy’s major components, returning to pre-coronavirus levels by showing their first month of growth this year.

Other major indicators, including factory production, investment and property activity, all gathered pace, China’s state-run statistics bureau said Tuesday, signaling a robust rebound for the world’s second-largest economy. The main official measure of joblessness, the urban surveyed unemployment rate, edged down to 5.6%, the lowest since it stood at 5.3% in January, when the coronavirus began to affect hiring. 

Read more at the WSJ

Machine Tool Orders Dip in July

Machine tool orders declined in July but showed signs of stabilizing, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology said today. Orders totaled $337.5 million in July, down 1.7 percent from an adjusted $343.5 million the month before.  The July figure also was 14 percent lower than the $391.4 million in orders for July 2019.

Read more at SME.org

Beyond Mere Legal Compliance

Jackson Lewis Attorney Caroline M. DiMauro writes that while companies should always focus on the legal risks associated with their employment decisions, often it is the less obvious, non-legal issues and the way an employer treats its employees that lead to claims.

For example, in manufacturing where production schedules are critical and staffing often already lean, employers may be less inclined to be flexible in allowing workplace accommodations relating to COVID-19. Since March and now, as schools are back in session, businesses are inundated with requests for work from home, schedule modifications, or time off as employees deal with childcare issues, online schooling, and as COVID-19 exposure and infection incidents rise. Often, these employers may be quick to respond, “We don’t do that,” “That’s not our policy,” “We can’t allow that,” or “If we let you take time off, everyone will want to take off.”   

Read more on how you can “avoid harsh results”

MTA: Riders Face $50 Fine for Not Wearing Face Covering

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that as of Monday, September 14, all customers who refuse to wear a mask on public transit will be subject to a $50 fine. The new measure follows Governor Cuomo’s executive order directing the MTA to develop a plan to bolster mask compliance across public transit. MTA officials say that mask usage is already above 90 percent across New York City Transit subways and buses, the Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North.

Read more at Mid-Hudson News

Bottom Story – Cuomo “Would Not Ban Trick or Treaters”

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he would not ban trick-or-treaters from going door to door this Halloween during an interview with News 12 Long Island with Tara Joyce.

“I would not ban trick-or-treaters going door to door. I don’t think that’s appropriate. You have neighbors – if you want to go knock on your neighbor’s door, God bless you and I’m not going to tell you not to. If you want to go for a walk with your child through the neighborhood, I’m not gonna tell you youcan’t take your child to the neighborhood, I’m not going to do that – I’ll give you my advice and guidance and then you will make a decision what you do that night.”

Read the transcript