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Daily Briefing – 302

Post: May. 10, 2021

These States Are Dropping Federal $300-A-Week Unemployment Benefits

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Friday that Arkansas will opt out of a federal supplemental unemployment assistance program late next month. Saying the federal program, which added an extra $300 per week for unemployment assistance, served a good purpose in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hutchinson said it was now time to get, “Arkansans back on the job.”

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced Thursday the state would stop participating at the end of June. On Wednesday, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) said he would withdraw from the program by June 27, also claiming his state was being plagued by a labor shortage. Montana will instead offer a one-time $1,200 bonus for returning to work, Gianforte said.

Read more at Forbes

FBI Suspects Criminal Group in Colonial Pipeline Hack

A criminal gang believed to be based in Eastern Europe is responsible for the hack that has led to the shutdown of the main pipeline supplying gasoline and diesel fuel to the U.S. East Coast, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. The organization, known as DarkSide, is a relatively new hacking group that Western security researchers say is likely based in Eastern Europe, possibly in Russia. The organization created the malicious computer code that resulted in the shutdown, officials said.

Earlier Monday, DarkSide posted a statement on the dark web claiming that its goal was solely to make money and denied it was connected to a foreign government. 

Read more at The WSJ

Women’s Labor Force Participation Was Rising to Record Highs—Until the Pandemic Hit

A report from the New York Fed notes that the labor force participation rate for women aged 25 to 54 fell four percentage points between 2000 and 2015, breaking a decades-long trend of tremendous growth. However, by early 2020 women’s labor force participation had recovered nearly all of the ground lost over the prior fifteen years.

Then the pandemic hit, erasing these gains. A strong labor market with rising wages, as was the case in the years leading up to the pandemic, will be instrumental in bringing more women back into the labor force.

Read more at Liberty Street Economics

States are Turning Back Vaccine Doses

Several U.S. states are turning back doses of the COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government, as the number of vaccinations per day has dropped below 2 million—the lowest level since March—largely because the people who are most willing to take the vaccine have already taken it. Wisconsin, for one, only requested 8% of the doses set aside for it next week, while uptake is particularly low in the South.

Read more at the New York Times

US Vaccine Rollout – Vaccinations Slow, Coronavirus Cases Trend Down, Restrictions Could Ease

The pace of Covid-19 vaccinations across the U.S. continued to slow, while infection levels trended lower and the White House signaled that guidelines on coronavirus restrictions and mask wearing could be eased soon. The seven-day moving average of Covid-19 infections was 42,012 as of Saturday, while the 14-day average was 45,803. When the seven-day average is lower than the 14-day average, as it has been since April 17, it indicates cases are falling.

On Sunday, Biden administration officials said that the U.S. is entering a new phase of the pandemic in which many vaccinated Americans can begin returning to normal activities and signaled that the federal government will further relax mask-wearing recommendations as more people get shots

Read More at the WSJ

NYS Vaccine Update – SUNY and CUNY Boards to Require Vaccinations for All Students Attending In-Person Classes This Fall

Governor Cuomo yesterday announced the SUNY and CUNY boards will require proof of vaccination for all students attending in-person classes this fall, and encouraged all private universities and colleges to adopt the same guidelines.

As of Monday morning 9,661,9446 (plus 33,150 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 7,804,508 are fully vaccinated (Plus 84,352).  In the Hudson Valley 1,024,084 (plus 3,481) have at least one dose and 806,014 (plus 8,990) are fully vaccinated. 

NYS COVID Update – Downward Trends Continue

The Governor  updated COVID data through Wednesday May 5th.  There were 27 COVID related deaths for a total of 42,307. Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 2,016
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 177

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 3,845
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 378

Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:

  • Statewide 1.40%
  • Mid-Hudson: 1.43%

Useful Websites:

EU Will Not Renew AstraZeneca Vaccine Order Beyond June

The European Union has not made any new orders for AstraZeneca (AZN.L) vaccines beyond June when their contract ends, European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Sunday, after the EU signed a deal with Pfizer-BioNTech. Breton also said he expected the costs of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to be higher than the earlier versions. 

The Commission last month launched legal action against AstraZeneca for not respecting its contract for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and for not having a “reliable” plan to ensure timely deliveries.

Read more at Reuters

Nassau Coliseum Will Have Fully Vaccinated Fan Section For Isles’ Playoff Games

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday, May 10, that the Nassau Coliseum will have a fully vaccinated fan section for the Islanders’ playoff games which are anticipated to start on Wednesday, May 19.

According to Cuomo, to end the team’s last season at the Coliseum, 50 percent of the arena will be used as a fully vaccinated fan section with fans set three feet apart, with an unoccupied seat between each person in assigned sections that will be designated only for those who have taken the COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more at the Daily Voice

Congressional Leaders to Meet With Biden To Talk Infrastructure

Congressional leadership will have their first joint meeting with President Biden Wednesday. The Senate is returning from a one-week break on Monday, while the House will return to Washington today. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will meet with Biden on Wednesday. 

It’s the first time Biden has met with the four top congressional leaders as a group since being inaugurated in January. It will also be his first meeting with McConnell and McCarthy. The two sides were already far apart on infrastructure. A group of Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), have proposed a $568 billion infrastructure proposal.

Read more at The Hill

Eight New Pop-Up Vaccination Sites at MTA Stations

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced eight new pop-up vaccination sites at MTA station stops in the New York City, Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions. The sites will serve up to 300 walk-ins per day on a first come, first served basis utilizing the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The MTA will provide incentives to get vaccinated at the sites, including a free seven-day MetroCard or free round trip Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North ticket. The MTA will partner with SOMOS Community Care, Northwell Health and Westchester Medical Center on the sites. MTA employees can get vaccinated at the sites.

  • Penn Station – 34th Street Corridor
    Open: 3 PM – 8 PM
  • Grand Central Terminal – Vanderbilt Hall
    Open: 8 AM – 1 PM
  • Ossining (Metro-North)
    Open: 3 PM – 8 PM

Read the Press Release

NAM Webinar: What the PRO Act Means for Manufacturers and How We Stop It

Please join the NAM for the upcoming policy briefing on the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, aka the PRO Act. The threat of the PRO Act becoming law is real. If it is enacted, manufacturers won’t recognize their workplaces. Employers would be silenced from talking to their employees on some key HR issues. Workplaces could even be forced to unionize. 

Email NAM Director of Labor and Employment Policy Drew Schneider to register