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Daily Briefing – 160

Post: Sep. 30, 2020

State Continues to Track “Hot Spots” 

The Governor issued a press release yesterday providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Tuesday, September 29th. New York State continues to track clusters with a particular focus on the top 20 ZIP codes in which there have been hotspots. Within the 20 hotspot ZIP codes, the average rate of positive tests is 5.5 percent. The rate of positive tests for the remainder of New York State, not counting the top 20 ZIP codes, is 0.82 percent. The rate of positive tests for all of New York State, including the top 20 ZIP codes, is 1.02 percent. These 20 ZIP codes contained 23 percent of all positive cases in New York State yesterday, but represent only 6 percent of the state’s population.

DiNapoli: Job Losses Are Concentrated in Lower-Paid Sectors

Six months into the COVID-19 recession, New Yorkers working in lower-paid sectors continue to suffer a disproportionate share of job losses statewide and especially in New York City.

Among the nearly 1.3 million net jobs the State lost from March through August, more than 320,000 were in accommodation and food services. These losses represented 41 percent of jobs in the industry before the recession hit, and one in every four jobs lost in all sectors statewide. Workers in this industry are disproportionately likely to be Black or Hispanic, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. As shown in the chart below, the average annual wage in 2019 for these hotel, restaurant and other jobs was $30,689, less than half the overall average for the State of $75,367. Retail trade, another sector with comparatively low wages, lost 93,000 jobs, one in every 10 of its previous total.

Read more 

Democrats Will Vote on $2.2 Trillion Stimulus, Talks with Mnuchin Will Continue

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that House Democrats will press ahead with a vote Wednesday night on their own $2.2 trillion stimulus proposal, a sign that a bipartisan deal still has yet to be struck to deliver further pandemic relief.

Pelosi made the announcement after a 90-minute meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. She said in a statement that talks between the two negotiators will continue. “Today, Secretary Mnuchin and I had an extensive conversation and we found areas where we are seeking further clarification. Our conversations will continue,” the California Democrat said.

Read more at CNN

Consumer Confidence in U.S. Posts Biggest Gain in 17 Years

Consumer confidence rebounded in September by the most in more than 17 years as Americans grew more upbeat about the outlook for the economy and job market, though sentiment remained below pre-pandemic levels. The Conference Board’s index increased 15.5 points, the most since April 2003, to 101.8 from August’s upwardly revised 86.3, according to a report issued Tuesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a reading of 90 in September, and the figure exceeded all estimates.

The group’s gauge of current conditions rose 12.7 points to 98.5, while a measure of the short-term outlook jumped 17.4 points to a three-month high. The gain in the expectations index was the largest since 2009. The S&P 500 turned positive after the report.

Read more at Bloomberg (subscription) 

Shuttles and Carpooling for Manufacturing Employees During a Pandemic

Jackson Lewis Attorneys write that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided resources with tips and recommendations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 when carpooling or ridesharing to and from work. These can be especially useful to manufacturing employees, who often cannot work from home or remotely and use shuttles or carpool, to better minimize the inherent risks of close-contact travel during or to and from work.

The safest option is to avoid carpooling to and from work. However, when that is not possible, the CDC tips provide useful guidelines. Additionally, they can be useful when manufacturers and employers require a shuttle to transport employees.

Read the Recommendations from the CDC at Jackson Lewis

FAA Certifies New GE Engine for Service

The GE9X, the fuel-efficient jet engine developed to power the forthcoming Boeing 777X twin-engine wide-body jet, has gained Federal Aviation Administration’s clearance for commercial flights.

The high-bypass turbofan engine was developed by GE Aviation from the earlier GE90 engine, with a larger fan and a higher percentage of lightweight materials (including ceramic-matrix composites), to achieve an estimated 10% greater fuel efficiency than the previous model.

Read more at American Machinist

More Grim News on the Impact of the Coronavirus Crisis on Women’s Careers

Seven months into a pandemic that has turned work and home life upside down, working women are confronting painful choices that threaten to unravel recent advances in gender equity—in pay, the professional ranks and in attaining leadership positions.

Women have already lost a disproportionate number of jobs. That is partly because of a segregated workforce in many fields in which women make up more of the lower-income service and retail jobs that vanished as Covid-19 gripped the economy. While women are 47% of the U.S. labor force, they accounted for 54% of initial coronavirus-related job losses and still make up 49% of them, according to McKinsey & Co.

Read more in the WSJ

COVID-19 Age Distribution

Researchers from the CDC COVID-19 Response Team published analysis of shifts in the age distribution of US COVID-19 cases. The study, published in the CDC’s MMWR, evaluated age data from COVID-19 cases reported in the US between May and August. The analysis included patients who visited the emergency department with COVID-like illness, patients with positive SARS-CoV-2 tests, and confirmed COVID-19 patients as well as test positivity data among the defined age groups. From May to July, COVID-19 incidence increased among all age groups, but the largest increases were observed in individuals under 30 years old.

Read more at the CDC