Daily Briefing – 165

New York State Cluster Action Initiative Update and COVID-19 Numbers

Governor Cuomo issued a press release this afternoon providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Tuesday, October 6th. Hotspots in Brooklyn, Queens, Rockland, and Orange Counties have driven higher positivity and hospitalization rates in the State. Tracking data for the hotspots as compared to the rest of the State is below.

Positivity rates:

  • 20 hotspot zip codes: 5.1%
  • Orange 10950: 13.3%
  • Statewide: 1.25%
  • Statewide excluding hotspots: 1.05%

Empire State Development, in consultation with the Department of Health, released guidance earlier yesterday to help businesses determine whether they are an essential business if they are located in areas with designated cluster activity, as defined by Executive Order 202.68.

Trump Pushes for Some Covid Relief After Shutting Down Stimulus Talks

President Trump renewed calls for Congress to pass individual coronavirus relief measures, including more aid for airlines and direct checks for many Americans, after he halted negotiations with Democrats on a larger package until after the election.

Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Trump tweeted that he had “instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election,” saying a broader stimulus package would come then. Hours later, the president called on Congress to approve some additional assistance for airlines and a small-business aid program and direct checks for many Americans. “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now,” Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday night, adding Wednesday morning: “Move Fast, I Am Waiting To Sign!”

Mrs. Pelosi said Wednesday that Democrats were opposed to passing individual bills in the absence of a broader deal, calling that a “missed opportunity.”

Read more in the WSJ

JOLTS: Job Openings Fall… Except for Manufacturing 

August saw a reduction in the number of available jobs for the first time in four months, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Manufacturing job openings, however, rose that month, NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray tells us.

“Manufacturing job openings in August reached 460,000, up from 430,000 in July and the best reading since July 2019 (477,000). This improvement suggests that firms are once again increasing their interest in adding new workers, even as the sector attempts to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and the overall labor market has changed dramatically.”

Read more at Reuters

White House Agrees to FDA’s Guidelines for Vetting Covid-19 Vaccines

The White House cast aside its objections and endorsed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s plans for assessing whether a Covid-19 vaccine should be given to the public, making it likely that a shot won’t be cleared until after the election, people familiar with the matter said. 

The FDA issued the guidelines soon afterward on Tuesday afternoon, saying it hopes the release “helps the public understand our science-based decision-making process that assures vaccine quality, safety and efficacy for any vaccine that is authorized or approved.”

Read more in the WSJ

Has Covid-19 Increased Suicide Rates Around the World?

The Economist answers that It is too early to say, but the signs are ominous. The CDC)carried out a survey this summer that found that one in ten of the 5,400 respondents had seriously considered suicide in the previous month—about twice as many who had thought of taking their lives in 2018. For young adults, aged 18 to 24, the proportion was an astonishing one in four.

The survey, published in August, was one of a growing number of warnings about the toll that the pandemic is taking on the mental health of people. For legions, the coronavirus has upended or outright eliminated work, schooling and religious services. On top of that, lockdowns and other types of social distancing have aggravated loneliness and depression for many.

Read more at The Economist

Manufacturers Lead by Example on COVID-19 Safety

Yesterday the leadership of the NAM Board of Directors—Trane Technologies Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair Mike Lamach, Dow Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Vice Chair Jim Fitterling, BTE Technologies President and NAM Small and Medium Manufacturers Chair Chuck Wetherington and Protolabs President and CEO and NAM SMM Vice Chair Vicki Holt—released a joint statement to reinforce the industry’s critical role in the fight against COVID-19. 

“As manufacturers for America’s goods and essential products, we have a strong message for our team members and the country. All Americans must do everything in our power to keep our workers, our communities and our fellow citizens safe from COVID-19. Our industry will continue manufacturing personal protective equipment, medical supplies and therapeutics, racing to develop a safe and effective vaccine and keeping consumer goods and the food supply plentiful. We have been able to do this throughout the pandemic and keep our workers safe.

Read the full statement here.

Trump Administration To Force Employers To Pay H-1B Visa Workers Similar Wages To Americans

The departments of Labor and Homeland Security have issued a joint rule that significantly raises the wages employers must pay foreign workers who come to the country under H-1B visas and reduces the scope of “specialty occupations” eligible for the visas. “Companies have been incentivized to avoid hiring Americans or even lay off their own qualified, better-paid American workers and replace them with cheaper foreign labor,” said DHS’ Ken Cuccinelli.

Read more in Forbes

Boeing Projects Aircraft Demand to Fall -11 Percent

Boeing issued a new forecast of near-, medium- and long-term demand in commercial and defense aircraft, putting some figures to define the industry’s newly diminished outlook. The COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed commercial air travel, causing airlines to cancel orders and reducing the need for aircraft replacement and maintenance.

The 2020 edition of the Boeing Market Outlook (BMO) projects that the commercial aviation and services markets will continue to face significant challenges, though defense and government services sectors will be more stable. Global commercial airplane demand is projected to be worth $2.9 trillion over the next 10 years, -11% from the 2019 outlook and representing total demand for 18,350 commercial jets.

Read more at American Machinist