U.S. Job Openings Held at Record Level
The Labor Department yesterday said job openings rose at the end of May by 16,000, pushing the total to a new high of 9.2 million jobs in records dating back to 2000. The number of available jobs nearly matched the 9.3 million Americans who were unemployed but actively seeking jobs in May, reflecting an unusual tightness in the job market.
Workers continued to quit jobs at a high rate as businesses competed to fill positions. The seasonally adjusted quit rate fell from a record 2.8% in April to 2.5% in May, after steadily increasing since January.
NYSDOL Publishes Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standards and Model Plans For Various Industries
Council of Industry Associate member Bond Schoeneck and King report that on the evening of July 6, 2021, the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) published the long awaited “Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard” (Standard), a general “Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan,” and several industry specific model prevention plans as well.
Private employers in New York State now have 30 days, or until Aug. 5, 2021, to either adopt one of the model plans or develop an alternative plan that meets or exceeds the requirements in the Standard. Employers that choose to develop an alternative plan must adopt a plan pursuant to an agreement with the collective bargaining representative (if any), or where there is no collective bargaining representative, with meaningful participation of employees, for all aspects of the plan. Employers should carefully review the Standard and the applicable model prevention plan(s) and determine whether to adopt one of the model plans or develop and adopt a compliant alternative prevention plan.
- Read more at BSK
- Review the Standard at the DOL website
- View the Manufacturing Industry Model Plan (.pdf)
10-Year Treasury Yield Drops Amid Signs of Economic Growth Slowing
The 10-year Treasury yield fell to its lowest level since February on Tuesday amid signs that the economic recovery from the pandemic could be slowing. While economic growth boomed in the first half of 2021 and is set to keep expanding rapidly the rest of the year, investors digested signals that much of the comeback has already occurred.
The latest numbers showed growth in the service sector of the economy slowed by more than expected in June from a record level the prior month. This follows a tick-up in the unemployment rate on Friday. “All that seems to be implying that perhaps not only was the inflation transitory, but maybe some of the growth has been transitory,” Kathy Jones, Schwab’s chief fixed income strategist, told CNBC.
Kaseya Cyber Attack Lesson… Never Rest, Focus on Prevention
Kaseya, a provider of IT and security management solutions for managed service providers (MSPs) and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), suffered a ransomware attack on its VSA customers. “This attack is man versus machine”said Stel Valavanis of onShore Security.rs. “Maybe we just can’t yet see that no code can be trusted. My point is that machines are dumb. They can be fooled. They can be manipulated. They can’t be trusted. Humans will find ways to trick them and bash them around.”
Organizations can avoid becoming victims by stopping malware at the exploitation stage through increasing resilience, reducing infrastructure complexity, and streamlining security management. “Prevention is the best strategy; stopping attacks before they execute. This is entirely possible with next generation solutions that use AI to identify and block malware. Organizations must lead with a prevention-first approach using the fullest capabilities of AI.”
NYS Vaccine and COVID Update
Vaccine Stats as of Wednesday morning:
One Vaccine Dose
- 60.6% of all New Yorkers – 11,644,869 (plus 18,886 from a day earlier)
- In the Hudson Valley 1,236,280 (plus 1,859)
- 54.7% of all New Yorkers – 10,662,081 are fully vaccinated (Plus 22,895)
- In the Hudson Valley – 1,120,973 (plus 2,141) are fully vaccinated.
The Governor updated COVID data through Tuesday July 6th. There were 5 COVID related deaths for a total of 42,998.
- Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 354
Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:
- Statewide 0.65%
- Mid-Hudson: 0.50%
- Read the press release
- Visit the vaccine tracker site
- See the School Districts Dashboard
- See the SUNY Dashboard
- State Vaccine Information Site
US COVID Update – White House Announces New COVID-19 Strategy as Delta Spreads
President Biden on Tuesday pleaded with Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the White House signaled a shift toward grassroots tactics to reach those who have yet to get a shot. Biden highlighted door-to-door, community level outreach and mobile vaccination clinics as ways to bring the vaccine to more Americans this summer.
The president laid out a series of steps his administration is taking to make the vaccine more accessible, with a focus on getting the shot to young people in particular. The White House coronavirus response team is planning to direct more vaccines to doctors’ offices and pediatricians so that individuals, specifically those ages 12-18, can have access to the shots.
The Delta Variant is Spiking in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Connecticut
According to data from Scripps Research’s Outbreak.info, the delta variant of the coronavirus is surging in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Connecticut, where it is responsible for a majority of new cases. Ninety-six percent of Missouri’s new COVID-19 cases have been traced to the delta variant — the highest percentage of new cases caused by this strain for any U.S. state.
These surges in delta cases are occurring in areas that have a lower-than-average vaccination rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average vaccination rate is 47.5 percent. Missouri’s vaccination rate is 36.8 percent, Arkansas is 32 percent, and Kansas is just below 40 percent, as reported by the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Tracker. Neighboring Connecticut is the exception. Its vaccination rate is 61.3%.
COVID Lessons From the AIDS Crisis
It took 15 years from the emergence of AIDS to find the first effective treatments for the disease. In 1996 antiretroviral drugs, which can keep symptoms at bay indefinitely, became the standard of care (though a true cure remains elusive). As a result, AIDS was gradually subdued, going from the leading cause of death for young people to a largely manageable condition.
Nowadays, people can live long lives with HIV. American mortality data bear that out. Analysis published this week in Annals of Internal Medicine, a journal, compared the likelihood of death within five years of 83,000 people entering clinical care for HIV or AIDS with the general population. There was an 11.1% gap between the two at the beginning of the millennium. Since 2011 it fell to just 2.7%. This is good news as researchers look at similar drugs to battle COVID.
Double-Digit Increase in Hudson Valley Home Sales
The City of New York was ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic leading many downstate residents fleeing to the northern suburbs and exurbs. That has been borne out by a sharp increase in home sales in the Hudson Valley counties, according to the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.
The largest percentage of single-family home sales was experienced in the second quarter of this year in Sullivan County with a 71.9 percent increase. Sales in the first six months of the year, sales rose by 67.7 percent. The median sale price rose by 31.4 percent.
German Industrial Production Fell in May – Supply Issues to Blame
German industrial output fell in May, data showed on Wednesday, another hint that semiconductor supply bottlenecks are slowing the recovery in Europe’s largest economy. The fall was driven by a plunge in the production of capital goods, such as machinery and vehicles, which fell 3.4%, the data showed. Consumer, intermediate goods and construction output rose.
The Federal Statistics Office said industrial output decreased by 0.3% on the month after an upwardly revised decline of 0.3% in April. A Reuters poll had pointed to a rise of 0.5%.
Samsung Profit Jumps More Than 50% on Strong Chip Demand
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. said Wednesday morning in South Korea that its second-quarter operating profit has likely increased by 53% on a year-over-year basis, surpassing analyst estimates.
The increase was thanks to strong demand and high prices for its memory and server chips, which account for the bulk of the company’s revenue. That helped offset a slight decline in its smartphone business. Reuters reported that the company’s chip division likely saw profit jump by about 20% thanks to the strong prices of flash memory chips and higher demand for consumer electronics and data center server processors.
Real US 10-Year Bond Yield Drops to -1.00 Percent
For months now, long-end rates have been more minded to test lower than higher. The US 10yr hit 1.75% in March, and since then, there have been some ups and some downs but mostly the latter. That same 10yr rate is now closer to 1% than it is to 2% – a remarkable state of affairs given the strength of the recovery, and more to come. At the same time, the bond market has been in a state of extremes. On the one hand it was pricing in more inflation, but on the other it did this partly through deep negative real market rates.
Yesterday the 10-year real yield (the nominal yield of a bond minus the rate of inflation) reached -1.00 percent.
The New Rules Of Risk, How to Dominate the Next Crisis
The global pandemic and recession will be followed by new challenges in the years to come. “There are so many moving parts,” says Leo Tilman, author of Financial Darwinism. and one of the key questions is, what are the changes—in the market environment, in consumer behaviors, in the B2B landscape—that are permanent and which ones are transitory. A lot of conversations about strategy and big-picture pivotal decisions are based on the answer to this question.”
But given the many new risks facing companies, including the proliferation of cybercrime, the heightened focus on ESG and the reputational and brand risks in the era of cancel culture, boards must work with management to find opportunity in the uncertainty. “It’s not, how do you assume a better fetal position so you can withstand the next outrage, but how can we dominate environments like this?” says General (Ret.) Charles H. Jacoby Jr., Fifth Commander of United States Northern Command and the 22nd Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command.