Economists expect 1.5 million job gains in July labor report
After two months of record job gains, the July employment tally has become something of a wild card. Out Friday, economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimate the nation added 1.5 million jobs last month. While some economists foresee the possibility of hundreds of thousands of payroll losses, others predict that total employment will be unchanged. The wide disparity reflects a labor market at a crossroads as some states continue to allow businesses to reopen in phases while others, particularly in the South and West, pause or reverse reopening plans amid coronavirus spikes.
Dems, White House seek agreement by end of week on COVID-19 package
Congressional leaders (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.,) and lead White House negotiators (Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows) have pushed for a compromise on another coronavirus relief package by the end of the week and still hope to reach a deal. But negotiations tumbled into uncertainty Thursday evening with both sides painting a grim picture, even as millions of anxious Americans wait for vital financial relief. After the 10th meeting, both sides reported progress but also described a bleak portrait of the discussions that may stunt future meetings. Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on many issues, most notably the weekly $600 boost to people on unemployment. Democrats want to extend it until at least January, but Republicans argue it is too high and disincentives Americans from going back to work.
Millions of unemployed Americans are currently stuck in a financial limbo after a $600 weekly enhanced unemployment benefit expired last week.Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on many issues at the heart of the next package, one of the biggest being the $600 boost to unemployment. Democrats want to extend it until at least January, but Republicans argue it is too high and disincentives Americans from going back to work. Progress has been slow with disagreements “running into the trillions,” said Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff. Nisha wrote, AC edited
Los Angeles to shut off power, water to party houses not social distancing
The city of Los Angeles will cut off power and water to homes and businesses starting Friday night where recurring parties take place without social distancing, Mayor Eric Garcetti said. Earlier this week the county health department banned large gatherings following a much-publicized house party where people crowded together without masks. Violating the order is “punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both,” the department warned. “If LAPD responds and verifies that a large gathering is occurring at a property, and we see these properties offending time and time again, they will provide notice and initiate the process to request that DWP shut off service within the next 48 hours,” Garcetti said.
9 states participate in sales tax holidays beginning Friday
Nine states will hold sales tax holidays starting Friday — Florida, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Iowa’s two-day holiday ends Saturday and the other states holidays continue through Sunday. On Sunday, Maryland kicks off its tax-free week. However, not every town and county will participate in the sales tax holidays, nor will every item be tax-free. Due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, spending during the back-to-school shopping season is expected to total $33.9 billion. This is up from $26.2 billion last year, breaking the record of $30.3 billion set in 2012. Experts predict college students and their families will spend a total of $67.7 billion, up from $54.5 billion last year.
Lady Gaga, talk-show host? ‘Gaga Radio’ debuts
Lady Gaga will chat with folks involved in creating her “Chromatica” album in a new weekly series debuting Friday on Apple Music called “Gaga Radio.” Each episode will have an exclusive DJ mix from one of Gaga’s guests, who include DJs, producers and other luminaries in the dance-music space. “The last few weeks I’ve been figuring out different ways at home that I can be of service… ” Gaga said in a statement. “I’m super thrilled, excited to have this show and this opportunity to play an incredible mix of music every week.” The first episode Friday features “Chromatica” executive producer BloodPop, and Gaga tweeted that in future weeks, show guests will include mixes from Burns, Vitaclub and Tchami.