US economy sees surprise Q1 contraction despite solid spending

US economy sees surprise Q1 contraction despite solid spending

This post was originally published on this site Washington (AFP) – The US economy shrank in the first quarter of 2022 as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus hampered activity and companies bought more foreign products to rebuild depleted inventories, in the latest complication for a country already struggling with...

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There may be a new COVID variant, Deltacron. Here’s what we know about it.

There may be a new COVID variant, Deltacron. Here’s what we know about it.

This post was originally published on this siteThe newly identified Deltacron COVID-19 case, created by the combination of the Delta and Omicron variants, is not widely spread. Here’s what we know.     

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Companies Seize March as a Moment to Reopen the Office

Companies Seize March as a Moment to Reopen the Office

This post was originally published on this siteWith Omicron cases falling, Citi, American Express, Cisco Systems and others say they spot a window to bring workers back together.

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What Experts Know About Children, Covid and Omicron

What Experts Know About Children, Covid and Omicron

This post was originally published on this siteCovid-19 cases among children have surged across the world amid omicron-fueled outbreaks, spurring more hospitalizations and raising fresh concern about the risk of severe illness — although such cases remain proportionately rare. It’s also renewed questions about the safety of schools and the...

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Was the January jobs report really <i>that </i>good?

Was the January jobs report really that good?

It appears the U.S. economy didn’t dodge the Omicron bullet after all.
The Labor Department’s jobs report, which was released Friday, showed that the U.S. economy added 467,000 jobs in January and that the unemployment rate increased only slightly to 4.0 percent.
Several outlets hailed these numbers as a pleasant and unexpected surprise after many experts predicted a downturn due to Omicron. Politico called the report “phenomenal.” The Democratic Party hailed it as evidence of “the Biden Boom.” Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao wrote that the report “signals that the job market recovery is plowing forward, despite Omicron headwinds.”
But was it? According to Matt Yglesias’ Slow Boring newsletter, not really.
“One natural interpretation of these numbers is that the fears of an Omicron impact on the economy were wrong. But this is incorrect,” Yglesias wrote.
“January happens to be the month when the [Bureau of Labor Statistics] does an annual update of some of its models,” he continued. “With updated [census] data, they’re able to generate new and better estimates. The January jobs gains came entirely from these changes.”
Without the adjustment for new census data, the economy actually lost jobs between December 2021 and January 2022. Thanks to the adjustment, gains that actually took place in previous months showed up in January’s report.
“That doesn’t mean the jobs aren’t real,” Yglesias wrote. “But they are jobs we had all along. Using consistent household survey data, employment fell in January … for precisely the reason the Biden administration was worried it would fall: lots of people missed work because they were sick” with Omicron.
Axios reported Tuesday that over “1 million men surged into the job market last month … compared to just 39,000 women,” a conclusion Yglesias also disputed.
“[I]t’s not that a ton of men newly entered the labor force, a bunch of working age men who’d been around all along got counted correctly,” he tweeted.
In other words it’s not that a ton of men newly entered the labor force, a bunch of working age men who’d been around all along got counted correctly.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) February 8, 2022

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Omicron Poses a Puzzle for Vaccine Makers

Omicron Poses a Puzzle for Vaccine Makers

This post was originally published on this siteEarly studies show the omicron vaccine isn’t an improvement and a broader vaccine will take longer to develop.

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CDC: more vaccinated adults hospitalized with omicron, but fewer admitted to ICU

CDC: more vaccinated adults hospitalized with omicron, but fewer admitted to ICU

This post was originally published on this siteA higher proportion of adults hospitalized during the period of omicron dominance were fully vaccinated compared to the period during delta, according to a new analysis, but those people were also less likely to be severely ill or die.The Centers…

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January Jobs Report May Disappoint. It Is Sure to Perplex.

January Jobs Report May Disappoint. It Is Sure to Perplex.

This post was originally published on this siteOmicron’s impact is likely to be reflected unevenly in the data, and normal seasonal patterns may have been upended.

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White House braces for weak jobs report after Omicron surge coincides with data collection

White House braces for weak jobs report after Omicron surge coincides with data collection

This post was originally published on this siteWhite House officials are bracing for an unusually weak January jobs report due to Omicron cases peaking at the same time the monthly employment survey data was collected.

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Despite omicron hurdles, strong economic recovery likely remains on track

Despite omicron hurdles, strong economic recovery likely remains on track

This post was originally published on this siteThe economy has become more resilient to the virus with each new variant. But it’s become clear that the rebound will revolve around pandemic caseloads.

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