US Manufacturing PMI Down to 57.7 in December, From 58.3 in November
The final reading of the U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index from IHS Markit was adjusted slightly downward, to a reading of 57.7 from the “flash” reading of 57.8. This is below November’s level of 58.3. Sian Jones, senior economist at IHS Markit, said material shortages and supplier delays dragged down the index.
New orders rose at the slowest pace for a year. This was linked to a reluctance at customers to place orders before inventories were worked through. Backlogs of work rose sharply but was still the slowest in ten months. There was some relief on cost pressures, which rose at the slowest pace for six months. And manufacturing firms saw softer increases in selling prices as they tried to get new orders.
Governor Plans to Set Term Limits for Statewide Elected Officials
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a plan to institute term limits for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and Comptroller. She said this will be the first proposal of the 2022 State of the State.
Hochul said she will introduce a constitutional amendment to set limits of two consecutive terms for those statewide elected officials. She will also propose legislation to impose a ban on earned outside income for the same elected officials, with an exception for academic positions that receive ethics board approval.
Economists Expect the U.S. Labor Market to Strengthen in the Months Ahead
Economists say they expect the U.S. labor market to strengthen in the months ahead, despite the surge in Covid-19 cases due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant, because employers still need a lot more workers. Workers in the U.S. are quitting jobs at record rates, leaving roles for better working conditions and pay. Employees resigned from 4.2 million jobs in October, just shy of September’s record of 4.4 million quits. That has left employers struggling to find and retain staff
The Labor Department’s latest employment report, to be released Friday, is projected to show employers added 405,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.1%, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. The report comes as forecasters are lowering their estimates of economic growth amid rising coronavirus cases that have prompted some consumers to stay home and some businesses to close temporarily.
Climate Action Council Releases Draft Scoping Plan, Launches Public Comment Period
The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) was signed into law in 2019 as one of the most ambitious climate laws in the world. The law created the Climate Action Council (the Council), which was tasked with developing a draft scoping plan that serves as an initial framework for how the State will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero emissions, increase renewable energy usage, and ensure climate justice.
January 1, 2022 marks the beginning of a 120-day public comment period to receive feedback from the public as the Council works to develop and release a final scoping plan by the end of 2022. We are working with like minded organizations across New York State to understand the effects of the plan on manufacturers.
US COVID – The Virus is Spreading Faster Than Ever, but New Data Offer Hope.
Omicron seems milder: A large British study determined that people who contract Omicron are far less likely to be hospitalized than those infected with the Delta variant. Other studies found that Omicron may not spread as easily to the lungs, a possible explanation of why its effects appear less severe. Vaccines, especially boosters, help: The British study also underlined that the risk of hospitalization was significantly lower for people who had received two or three vaccine doses, compared with unvaccinated people.
Dr. Fauci said on Sunday that hospitalizations, which are not rising as fast, were a more important barometer than reported cases for the severity of the Omicron wave, a sharp distinction after nearly two years of tallying daily case counts. “As you get further on and the infections become less severe, it is much more relevant to focus on the hospitalizations as opposed to the total number of cases,” Dr. Fauci said.
NYS Vaccine and COVID Update
Vaccine Stats as of January 3:
One Vaccine Dose
- 84.0% of all New Yorkers – 15,751,769 (plus 3,456 from a day earlier).
- In the Hudson Valley 1,635,975 (plus 140).
- 71.8% of all New Yorkers – 13,975,611 (plus 4,791).
- In the Hudson Valley – 1,426,604 (plus 516).
- All New Yorkers – 4,739,700
- In the Hudson Valley – 558,781
The Governor updated COVID data through January 2. There were 103 COVID related deaths for a total of 61,514.
- Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 9,563.
7 Day Average Positivity Rate – Cases per 100K population
- Statewide 21.49% – 335.05 positive cases per 100,00 population
- Mid-Hudson: 21.42% – 304.18 positive cases per 100,00 population
FDA Authorizes COVID-19 Boosters for 12 to 15-Year-Olds, Makes Other Booster Changes
The Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorized Pfizer booster shots for people aged 12 to 15 years, another expansion in the population eligible for the third shots. Booster shots are seen as a key tool to fight the omicron variant, which has shown a heightened ability to infect people who have two shots, though vaccinated people still have important protection against severe disease.
The FDA also shortened the time for all adults to get their booster shots, down to five months from six months after the initial shots. Finally, for children 5-11 years old, the FDA authorized a third shot for certain immunocompromised children, who it said might not respond fully to two shots.
Testing Sites to Open on SUNY Campuses Statewide
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a partnership with SUNY and Syracuse University in which 10 new testing sites will be opening on State University of New York campuses across the state and at Syracuse University the week of Jan. 3. More campus sites will open in the coming weeks as the project expands.
Exact locations and hours of operation will be announced as the program develops. SUNY testing sites to open later this week include:
-Binghamton University Community Testing Site
-SUNY Plattsburgh Community Testing Site
-SUNY Cortland Community Testing Site
-University at Buffalo Community Testing Site
-Buffalo State College Community Testing Site
-SUNY Oswego Community Testing Site
-SUNY Oneonta Community Testing Site
-SUNY Albany Community Testing Site
-SUNY Stony Brook Community Testing Site
-SUNY Purchase Community Testing Site
The Top 10 EHS Trends of 2021 ad What They Mean for 2022
COVID-19 reared its ugly head—again – in 2021 but there were some bright spots, including a brief semblance of normalcy. Yet It’s heartening to see how central safety has been to many of these conversations. Safety professionals are making a real difference in workers’ lives, both now and for years to come. It may be tough to stay hopeful as cases continue to surge and the omicron variant takes hold in the U.S. But we also know that this too shall pass. Moreover, we know that the work you’re doing today, and have been doing for the past two years, is keeping workers safe and saving lives.
Let’s take a look back at the year’s major developments, which seem like eons ago with the sustained breakneck pace of COVID-19 guidance and recommendations. Without further ado, here are our top 10 EHS trends of 2021.
Independent Redistricting Commission: N.Y.’s Panel is Set to Give in to Partisanship
Expect no consensus from the five Republican appointees and the five Democratic appointees when New York’s new Independent Redistricting Commission votes tomorrow on maps for the 213 seats in the Legislature and 26 in the U.S. House of Representatives. A five-on-five standoff is the smart bet. They were never going to agree, and the sham of unity hoped for by the public’s 2014 adoption of an amendment to the state Constitution ended on Dec. 22 at 4 p.m. when the GOP side accused Democrats of a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum.
The Dems have the stronger hand, not on the evenly-divided panel, which we more accurately call an independent advisory redistricting commission, but because the Legislature always gets the last word. And the Legislature now has a Democratic supermajority in both chambers.
NY Fed Asks: When Will U.S. Exports Take Off?
Although U.S. imports have rebounded, U.S. exports remain far below their pre-pandemic level. This asymmetry in part reflects that U.S. imports are driven by goods trade, while exports rely more heavily on services trade—a key component of which is foreign travel to the United States.
But U.S. exports may be at a turning point given the reopening of U.S. borders to all vaccinated travelers on November 8. The authors analyze the trajectory of U.S. services and how the lifting of the travel ban might contribute to the rebound of U.S. services exports.
Tesla Fourth-Quarter Deliveries Set a New Record
Tesla on Sunday said it delivered 308,600 electric vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021, beating its previous single-quarter record as well as analysts’ expectations. The automaker produced 305,840 fully electric vehicles total during the same period. Shares jumped more than 7% in premarket trading Monday.
For the full year, Tesla delivered 936,172 vehicles, an 87% increase versus 2020 when it reported its first annual profit on deliveries of 499,647. In the third quarter of 2021, vehicle deliveries reached 241,300, Tesla’s previous best quarter.
Brussels Plans to Label Nuclear and Gas ‘Green,” New German Government Disagrees
A row has broken out in the EU over the European Commission’s plans to label nuclear and natural gas as “green” energy sources that can serve as a bridge to a renewables-centric future—a move that would have big implications for investments. Germany seems set to join Austria, Luxembourg and Denmark in opposing the classification decision, though there probably won’t be enough momentum to stop it entirely.
A draft delegated act, sent to EU countries on Friday, says “it is necessary to recognise that the fossil gas and nuclear energy sectors can contribute to the decarbonisation of the Union’s economy.” The draft taxonomy says nuclear plants should be considered “sustainable” if the host country can ensure they cause “no significant harm” to the environment, which includes safe disposal of nuclear waste. This applies to all “new nuclear installations for which the construction permit has been issued by 2045,” the text says.
Apple Becomes First U.S. Company to Reach $3 Trillion Market Value
Apple Inc. became the first U.S. company to reach $3 trillion in market value, the latest milestone in a pandemic-era surge that carried shares of the iPhone maker and other large technology companies to unprecedented highs. The milestone marked a 38% rise for Apple’s shares since the beginning of 2021, among the biggest gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Apple shares crossed the milestone when they topped $182.856 Monday. The share price has more than tripled since the pandemic lows of March 2020, adding around $2 trillion in market capitalization.
$1B Plan to Address Increases in Meat Prices
The White House on Monday announced plans aimed at addressing rising prices for meat and poultry, including setting aside $1 billion for smaller producers. That includes $375 million in grants for independent meat producers, $275 million in additional financing available for processors, $100 million to address inspection costs for smaller processing plants and $100 million in training for workers in the meat and poultry industry.
The White House has previously pointed to a small number of conglomerates for driving higher meat and poultry prices, which have been a major contributor to broader inflation in recent months.