Daily Headlines December 2, 2022
We scan major news sources* and compile selected articles to keep you up-to-date on current issues affecting California business – the economy, health care, environment, transportation and more. Receive Daily Headlines by Email
Today’s Top Story
Colds, Flus, RSV: What Can California Employers Do?
After COVID-19 dominated our lives for the last few years, other highly contagious respiratory illnesses — like colds, flus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) — are hitting California hard. Since influenza season tends to start in October and then peak between December and February, the flu and other respiratory illnesses could still hit both businesses and employees especially hard — and some employers may be wondering if they can do anything to potentially help reduce workers’ exposure.
Top California News
- Drought-Hit California Cities to Get Little Water from State
California water agencies that serve 27 million people will get just 5% of what they requested from the state to start 2023, water officials announced Thursday. The news of limited water comes as California concludes its driest three-year stretch on record and as water managers brace for a fourth year with below-average precipitation. The Associated Press (No subscription required)
- Inflation’s Impact Raises Specter of a Regional Recession
Inflation is outpacing Southern California wage gains, forcing cutbacks in consumer spending and raising the specter of a looming recession, a new economic analysis says. Nevertheless, the effects of a 2023 economic downturn likely won’t be as great in the region as in the nation thanks to the “stellar” economic growth of the past year and the region’s economic strength, the analysis said. The Orange County Register (Subscription required)
- A Fix for Wobbly Supply Chains? Ambitious $30B California Inland Port Imagines a New Way to Move Stuff
The word “port” evokes images of a quaint harbor town with docks edging the sea. But a proposed distribution and transportation project for California — one which will have components in the Central Valley — could be a model for inland ports in the U.S. The Business Journal (No subscription required)
- California Ships $1.7 Trillion in Goods to Other States Each Year, Most in the U.S.
…Within the U.S., certain locations are responsible for a higher volume of goods being shipped. Many of these states are larger in both population and the size of their economies. At the top of the list is California, which is by itself estimated to be the fourth largest economy in the world. With such a high level of economic output, California ships $1.67 trillion in goods—11.5% of the total shipped in the U.S. each year. KPVI (No subscription required)
- Dead People Are Getting California Inflation Relief Payments. Can Heirs Keep the Money?
California has already sent one-time inflation-relief payments to about 11.5 million residents who filed a state income tax return in 2020 — including some who have died since then. San Francisco Chronicle (Subscription required)
- Pandemic Stress Prematurely Aged Teens’ Brains, Stanford Study Finds
Here’s one more disturbing example of how COVID messed with our heads: The stress from the pandemic prematurely aged adolescents’ brains, according to a new Stanford University study that adds to the growing list of the lockdown’s troubling impacts on teens. Using MRI scans, the study found that changes in brain structure that occur naturally with age sped up in adolescents as they experienced the COVID-19 lockdowns. Their brains ended up looking like those of their peers about three years older. And that could have lasting implications for those youths if the changes are found to be more than temporary, researchers say. The Mercury News (Subscription required)
Top National, International News
- Congress Votes to Avert Rail Strike Amid Dire Warnings
Legislation to avert what could have been an economically ruinous freight rail strike won final approval in Congress on Thursday as lawmakers responded quickly to President Joe Biden’s call for federal intervention in a long-running labor dispute. The Senate passed a bill to bind rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement that was reached between the rail companies and union leaders in September. The Associated Press (No subscription required)
- Chinese Solar Manufacturers Dodged U.S. Tariffs, Probe Finds
Four leading Chinese solar-cell manufacturers circumvented U.S. tariffs by routing some of their operations through Southeast Asia, a Commerce Department investigation found. The preliminary findings from the closely watched probe—disclosed Friday—are likely to accelerate importers’ race to find alternative sources either domestically or from other places abroad to meet soaring demand for solar panels. The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)
- US Hiring Stays Strong, Complicating Fed’s Inflation Fight
The nation’s employers kept hiring briskly in November despite high inflation and a slow-growing economy — a sign of resilience in the face of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes. The Associated Press (No subscription required)
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