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Daily Briefing – 181

Post: Oct. 29, 2020

COVID and Cluster Update – New Record High Number of COVID-19 Tests Reported

Governor Cuomo issued a press release yesterday detailing New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Wednesday, October 28th.  A total of 168,353 COVID-19 diagnostic tests were reported to the State; a new record for a single day.

Tracking data for the hotspots and the rest of the State are below.  

  • 20 hotspot zip codes: 3.24%
  • Orange Orange Zone: 2.65%
  • Rockland Hot Zone: 2.72%
  • Statewide: 1.48%
  • Statewide excluding hotspots: 1.25%
  • Statewide hospitalizations: 1,085 (237 in ICU) 

Here are some useful websites:

US Economic Activity Rose at a Record 33.1% Annualized Pace After Pandemic Slump

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its advance print on third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) at 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. Here were the main metrics from the report, compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:

  • 3Q GDP, annualized quarter-over-quarter: 33.1% vs. 32.0% expected, -31.4% in the second quarter
  • 3Q Personal Consumption: 40.7% vs. 38.9% expected, -33.2% in the second quarter
  • 3Q GDP Price Index: 3.6% vs. 2.9% expected, -1.8% in the second quarter
  • 3Q Core Personal Consumption Expenditures, quarter-over-quarter: 3.5% vs. 4.0% expected, -0.8% in the second quarter

The quarterly U.S. GDP report served as a backwards-looking view of the state of the economy, especially now given the ever-changing landscape induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

Weekly Jobless Claims Fall to 751,000, Lowest Since March 14

Initial weekly U.S. jobless claims came in at 751,000 for the week ending Oct. 24, down 40,000 from the previous week. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected initial jobless claims to come in at 778,000. It was the lowest initial claims total since the week of March 14, when they came in at 282,000. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected 778,000 new claims for last week.

But with Covid-19 infections rising sharply again, economists voiced concern about the jobs market and economy.

Read more at CNBC

Good News/Bad News – Shrinking Labor Force Drives New York State’s Unemployment Rate Below 10%

GOOD NEWS: New York State’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent in September, marking the first time the rate has been below 10 percent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2.8 percentage point improvement in the unemployment rate was the second largest among all states, as shown in the map below. New Jersey led the nation with a 4.4 percentage point decline.

BAD NEWS: Unfortunately, a deeper dive into the BLS data reveals troubling context: New York State’s workforce declined by nearly 363,000 last month, a 2.3 percentage point drop from August (based on preliminary figures), while the number of individuals officially considered unemployed declined by 302,000. In short, the unemployment rate went down in large part because of the decline in New Yorkers counted as working or seeking employment. Such a decrease in the size of the workforce may indicate that individuals have ceased searching for a job actively.

Read more at the Controller’s website

Bond Schoeneck and King Has Updated Their New York Travel Restrictions  Frequently Asked Questions

On October 27, Governor Andrew Cuomo added California to the travel advisory. Massachusetts meets the criteria to be added to the travel advisory list but was not added because a quarantine would be nearly impossible to enforce along New York’s border.  In addition, on September 28, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 205.1 which requires travelers coming to New York from any country with a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 countries to quarantine. On October 8, 2020, the Department of Health updated its Interim Guidance for Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers Arriving in New York State Following Out of State Travel (the Guidance).

The changes to the Guidance are significant. BSK attorneys examine some frequently asked questions about the Order and the Guidance.

Read more as BSK

ECB Hints at More Stimulus in December

The European Central Bank hinted at more monetary stimulus on Thursday, as the two largest economies in the region prepare for a second national lockdown.  The bank decided to keep its rates and wider monetary policy unchanged, but suggested that additional policy action in the euro zone could come as soon as December.

“The Governing Council will carefully assess the incoming information, including the dynamics of the pandemic, prospects for a rollout of vaccines and developments in the exchange rate,” the ECB said in a statement on Thursday.

Read more at CNBC


Caterpillar Sees Improvement in Still-Depressed Third-Quarter Sales

Profit per share of the heavy-equipment manufacturer was $1.22, $1.44 or 54% less than it was a year ago. The company’s operating profit margin was 10.0%.

Sales of construction equipment in the third quarter were 23% worse in the third quarter of 2020 than they were in Q3 2019. Sales were 21% worse than last year for sales of mining and resource equipment during the third quarter and 24% worse for energy and transportation equipment.

Read more at IndustryWeek

How Automakers Keep COVID-19 Off Factory Floors

  • Temperature checks before getting on to the factory floor…
  • social distancing during lunch breaks…
  • Masks on at all times while working…
  • and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning….

That’s how auto factories in the midwest and the south are running at near-full speed even though COVID-19 cases are surging in the communities right outside their factory walls.

So far, there’s been no major outbreaks on any of the factory floors operated by Detroit’s Big Three, since General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler resumed production in May after the pandemic forced an unprecedented two-month shut down.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

Survey: Pandemic Leads Women to Consider Career Change

The economic fallout of COVID-19 has had a severe impact on women in the workplace. In fact, 58%  say COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their careers., according to a  new survey from MetLife examining the barriers women are facing amid the pandemic.

Despite this disruption – or perhaps because of it – roughly 1 in 4 women have been considering a career change since the pandemic hit. Many women are looking at STEM fields, specifically, with 2 in 5 noting that they are interested in pursuing a career in STEM, an industry forecasted to grow at a greater rate than non-STEM industries in the years ahead.

Read more in IndustryWeek