Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Expire
Nearly 18 months after Congress came to the rescue of jobless Americans, its historic expansion of the nation’s unemployment benefits system expired nationwide this weekend. Lawmakers, who extended the three pandemic programs in December and March, are not expected to renew them again. A key component of the relief effort was a federal weekly supplement for out-of-work Americans. Initially, the jobless received a $600-a-week boost from April through July of 2020. Congress then revived the enhancement in late December but reduced it to $300 a week.
Lawmakers also created two other measures to aid the jobless when the coronavirus struck. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program provided payments for freelancers, the self-employed, independent contractors and certain people affected by the outbreak, while the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program extended payments for those who’ve exhausted their regular state benefits. President Biden said last month that states can use federal relief funds to extend the programs beyond Labor Day, but so far none have said they will do so.
August Jobs Report is Concerning News for Fed
Disappointing August jobs numbers intensified the economic uncertainty caused by the Delta variant, putting pressure on the Federal Reserve as it considers when to reduce its policy support and on the White House as it tries to get more Americans vaccinated.
A one-month slowdown is probably not enough to upend the Fed’s policy plans, but it does inject a dose of caution. It also will ramp up scrutiny of upcoming data as the central bank debates when to take its first steps toward a more normal policy setting by slowing purchases of government-backed bonds.
Surgeon General: Success in Pandemic ‘Does Not Equal No Cases’
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told Politico that success with the coronavirus pandemic does not mean there will be no COVID-19 cases. “It is really important that we convey that success does not equal no cases,” Murthy said. “Success looks like very few people in the hospital and very few dying.”
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths were all much higher on Labor Day in 2021 than Labor Day in 2020, underscoring the severity of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
Biden to Outline Strategy for Controlling Delta Variant
President Biden on Thursday will outline additional steps his administration is taking to get the coronavirus pandemic under control as cases and hospitalizations increase in pockets of the country. He will deliver remarks laying out what a White House official described as a six-pronged strategy to slow the spread of the highly infectious delta variant and boost vaccination rates.
Biden indicated last week following an underwhelming jobs report that his administration is looking for ways to make it safer for kids to return to school and for workers to return to the office.
US COVID-19 Update – 75 percent of Adults Have at Least One COVID-19 Vaccine Dose
Three-fourths of U.S. adults have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, a White House official announced on Tuesday. White House Data Director Cyrus Shahpar marked the milestone in a tweet, saying the country “just hit” 75 percent of adults with at least one shot.
He said that from Sunday through Tuesday, 1.51 million doses have been administered, with 681,000 newly vaccinated and 105,000 additional doses, while noting that there is “as usual, lower reporting over the holiday weekend,” referring to Labor Day.
NYS Vaccine and COVID Update
Vaccine Stats as of Tuesday September 7th:
One Vaccine Dose
- 68.0 of all New Yorkers – 13,205,331 (plus 14,188 from a day earlier)
- In the Hudson Valley 1,397,403 (plus 1,303)
- 60.7% of all New Yorkers – 11,849,866 are fully vaccinated (Plus 11073)
- In the Hudson Valley – 1,238,139 (plus 922) are fully vaccinated.
The Governor updated COVID data through Monday September 6th. There were 35 COVID related deaths for a total of 55,768.
- Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 2,256.
Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:
- Statewide 3.27%
- Mid-Hudson: 3.62%
- Read the press release
- Visit the vaccine tracker site
- See the School Districts Dashboard
- See the SUNY Dashboard
- State Vaccine Information Site
COVID-19 Designated ‘Airborne Infectious Disease’ Under State Law
Governor Hochul Monday announced that the commissioner of health has designated COVID-19 a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health under New York State’s HERO Act, which requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans in the event of an airborne infectious disease, helping to prevent workplace infections.
The NY HERO Act mandates extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the law, all employers are required to adopt a workplace safety plan, and implement it for all airborne infectious diseases designated by the New York State Department of Health. Employers can adopt a model safety plan as crafted by the New York State Department of Labor, or develop their own safety plan in compliance with HERO Act standards.
August Auto Employment Jump Drives Manufacturing Jobs Growth
The latest jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor shows the U.S. manufacturing sector added 37,000 jobs in August, the majority of which were in motor vehicles and parts production. Auto and truck manufacturers hired 24,000 people, forming the lion’s share of the 31,000 jobs created in durable manufacturing and dwarfing nondurable goods’ 6,000 new August jobs.
No other manufacturing sector came close to the kind of hiring last month. Fabricated metal products, also categorized under durable goods production, hired 6,600 more people. Plastics and rubber product manufacturing, the fastest-growing nondurable goods sector, hired about 3,100.
Protesters Oppose Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations
Dozens of men and women lined Route 211 in the Town of Wallkill on Monday afternoon carrying signs opposing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. One sign read, “Don’t fire frontline heroes,” a reference to a state mandate that all healthcare workers must be vaccinated against the deadly disease that has killed over 55,000 New York residents. Other signs read, “Let me call my owns shots,” and “We do not co-parent with the government.”
Health officials nationwide have said 80 to 90 percent of those who catch the virus are unvaccinated. It could not be learned if any of the protesters had received COVID-19 shots of their own free will. The state mandate is set to go into effect on September 27.
German ZEW Economic Sentiment Index Falls Further 26.5 in September
Optimism about Germany’s economy has continued to slide, according to a survey published today. The ZEW economic-sentiment indicator, which polls around 350 financial-market experts, fell for three consecutive months over the summer and has now dropped for a fourth, falling another 13.9 points. Concerns about a new wave of covid-19 and supply-chain bottlenecks are causes for pessimism. Data show that German inflation rose to 3.9% in August from a year earlier. The composite purchasing-managers’ index, which covers both the services and manufacturing sectors, expanded at a weaker pace, falling from 62.4 in July to 60 in August.
But there is some good news. The federal statistics office revealed this week that industrial orders rose by 3.4% in July. And the finance ministry claims that the German economy is on track for a strong recovery in the third quarter, driven mainly by domestic demand.
Virus Resurgence Clouds Business Travel Rebound
Airlines and hotels had hoped that business travel—one of the most lucrative pillars of their business—would start to bounce back in the coming months. Those hopes are fading as the busy summer travel season peters out, and the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 postpones some companies’ plans to return to offices and resume in-person meetings and events.
About 60% of the more than 400 business travelers who responded to a survey by Morning Consult for the American Hotel & Lodging Association said they would postpone coming trips.
Toyota To Spend $13.6 Billion on Electric Car Batteries By 2030
Toyota said Tuesday it will invest $13.6 billion into batteries for electric and hybrid cars by 2030, as the world’s biggest automaker pushes to make its production carbon-neutral. The Japanese car giant said in a presentation it plans to pour 1.5 trillion yen into the development and supply of batteries for electric vehicles and that it aims to cut battery costs by half per car by 2030.
Toyota said in June it aimed to make its production carbon-neutral by 2035, replacing the previous target date of 2050. One of the ways the company hopes to realize its goal is by introducing new technologies for painting vehicles — one of auto production’s most power-gobbling procedures — such as replacing paint with adhesive film.
Supply Chain Leaders Are Optimistic About Capacity Ahead of ‘Official’ Peak Shipping Season
Companies have confidence in their e-commerce strategies ahead of the official 2021 peak shipping season that traditionally runs from September through December, according to a study released on August 31 from GlobalTranz Enterprices, LLC.
At the same time, the survey of supply chain decision-makers highlights anticipated challenges for the second half of the year, from new COVID-19 variants threatening another phase of lockdowns to ongoing challenges in recruiting and retaining employees.
Creating Well-Being in the Workplace
Due to the life-altering experience of the pandemic, our thinking about the workplace has changed. A fundamental change is the realization that workers that had been taken for granted are now categorized as essential. At the same time, employees are determining what’s essential to have in their work which is leading many people to leave their jobs. Dubbed the “great resignation, it’s a wake-up call for leaders who must figure out both how to hold onto employees and be able to attract future workers.
Jen Fisher, U.S. chief well-being officer, Deloitte, has a few ideas:
Ryanair Ends Jet Order Talks With Boeing Amid Price Dispute
Boeing (BA.N) faces a standoff with one of its biggest customers after Ireland’s Ryanair (RYA.I) said it had ended talks over a purchase of 737 MAX 10 jets worth tens of billions of dollars due to differences over price. A large new Ryanair order would provide a boost to the U.S. planemaker as it rebuilds confidence in the MAX, grounded for 20 months until November after two fatal crashes. It would also speed a tentative industry recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rare decision to go public over big-ticket airplane negotiations comes after months of wrangling that had already delayed a deal for the largest version of the 737 MAX when Ryanair re-ordered a smaller model in December.