Good Thursday morning Utah! Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.
Hit me ! I enjoy reading your story ideas, your news tips, your comments on this newsletter, and your general thoughts on the news. Email me or find me on Twitter @SchottHappens.
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House Republicans terrorized by technology
An informant tells “The Rundown” that House Republicans navigated a technological nightmare Wednesday morning as Representative Nelson Abbott’s Outlook malfunctioned, sending them hundreds of email invitations to the Majority Caucus lunch. the Wednesday House. Electronic calendar items flooded inboxes, arriving at a rate of several per minute, causing productivity to plummet as inboxes overflowed.
Home staff finally stopped the digital deluge of Republican Orem’s email before lunchtime.
Here’s what you need to know for Thursday morning
Democrats and Republicans are heading for a showdown over raising the debt ceiling. If they do not approve of an increase in the debt ceiling, it could cause considerable damage to the economy. [NYT]
💉 Utah lawmakers aren’t sure if they can block a federal vaccine requirement for businesses, but they seem eager to try. [Tribune]
💉 President Joe Biden is asking big companies like Disney and Microsoft to help get Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. [Reuters]
🏥 Representative Paul Ray said that Intermountain Health Care exaggerates the capacity issues of its intensive care units. The Republican lawmaker said some of the difficulties could be blamed on poor business decisions. [Tribune]
🏛 Several American gymnasts have testified before Congress about how the FBI botched an investigation into allegations of abuse against Larry Nassar. [CNN]
Regulators say it could take years to resolve the pollution problem along the Wasatch Front. [Tribune]
Utah lawmakers are grappling with a Utah Supreme Court ruling allowing transgender Utahns to register their gender identities on state records. A legislative committee has considered how the state should handle gender on birth certificates. [Tribune]
🚰 Ogden warns residents who use potable water to water lawns could face criminal penalties. [Tribune]
✈️ Utah will host 765 Afghan refugees from the first wave of evacuees from the country after the withdrawal of US forces. [Tribune]
🦠 The rapid increase in the number of children infected with COVID-19 is sounding alarm bells among authorities across the country. The number of coronavirus cases in children rose 240% in July. [CNN]
The Department of Justice has banned the use of strangles by federal law enforcement officials. [CNN]
👀 Former President Donald Trump fears this weekend’s rally in Washington, DC in support of jailed rioters on January 6 may be a “cut” designed to embarrass him. [NYT]
🚀 SpaceX launched 4 civilians into orbit. The four amateur astronauts will spend three days orbiting the Earth. [AP]
🦬 A record number of visitors came to Yellowstone National Park in August. [NYT]
🎤 No, someone in the White House did not press a “button” to prevent President Biden from speaking. [FactCheck]
Shut up and take my money! Taco Bell is testing a monthly taco subscription. The “Taco Lover’s Pass” offers subscribers one taco per day for 30 days. [CNN]
Your turn: what about the employment situation in Utah?
Earlier this week, I asked readers to share their thoughts on why Utah’s unemployment rate hasn’t budged much despite Governor Spencer Cox’s decision to end unemployment benefits earlier. improved.
I have had tremendous responses. I share some of them below. A few have been changed for length.
I have no sympathy for the employers and I don’t believe their crocodile tears about not finding employees. I was fired 18 months ago because of COVID-19. I have 2 master’s degrees and have sent hundreds of resumes for jobs that match my experience like a glove. All I get (if I get a response at all) is that I haven’t made the cut. And I am not an isolated case. I personally know several others who are going through the same experience. The “labor shortage” is a myth! – Reed combes
Utah had more jobs than people before the pandemic according to the SLC Chamber. This is true for several states.
In the past 18 months, 660,000 people have died, straining an already tight labor market. In addition, there are more jobs available than before the pandemic. Restaurants, health care, etc. need MORE workers. It is not a question of people who rub shoulders with unemployment benefits and it never has been. By ending the benefits earlier (before the federal government), Utah and other states continued to hurt the most vulnerable in our communities. – Megan Daigneau
I believe that many employees who were unemployed during the COVID pandemic took the time to improve their education and skills to get better jobs that were not affected by the work disruptions.
I also think some workers, seeing the Utah GOP push through laws protecting businesses from COVID-related lawsuits, have chosen to stay safe until the situation improves. Why risk your health for a low paid job where you are underestimated? If I walk into a business and find that they don’t take care of their employees, I take my money elsewhere. – Carl Stark
Baby boomers are retiring at a faster rate than they can be replaced. More home care services are needed, increased demand for food delivery and other unskilled workers.
Retirees remain retired. Since Covid is not under control, many Utahns of retirement age are retiring early or not taking post-retirement jobs like we did in the past. Two of my friends in the early seventies who regularly barked samples at Costco don’t work. Likewise, I will not play Santa Claus, score, or other high school sports sales because COVID is still out of control. The Covid stimulus checks helped us make these decisions.
Health industry exhaustion: No longer wanting to work in hospitals, many trained nurses seek other opportunities as there is a high demand for home nurses in both rural and urban areas. – Fred bonyea
I never expected extended unemployment benefits to be the reason people did not work. Shortly after returning to Utah in 2014, I was listening to a presentation by a state economist (I wish I had remembered his name). She shared something that I thought was fascinating and I think we are seeing it unfold now.
Even then, Utah had a low unemployment rate, but our wages were not increasing, which is not normal. She believed, from the data models, that Utah had a “hidden” workforce (not your typical hidden workforce by definition). The shared idea was that we have a large group of people who are not looking for work on a regular basis, but who will take a job if they are interested and maybe add a little extra money to the household income (that is – (i.e. stay-at-home parent with children in school most of the day, recent parent with empty nest or retired). With this group entering and exiting the workforce, jobs were always filled, so wages did not need to rise with such a low unemployment rate. Many in this group did not use the income to support an entire household, just extra income, so they did not have to worry about the “living wage” and could take lower wage jobs. vital.
Think about who became most “stuck” at home because of the pandemic – children were at home or could be sent home anytime during school hours; people over 65 are at higher risk of dangerous COVID results. etc ;. These “hidden workers” don’t need to work OR can’t return to work until the pandemic is really in the rearview mirror. I believe it will be some time before this group feels that life has settled enough to be tempted to return to the workforce. – Jen nibley
Thanks for the thoughtful responses. If you have a suggestion for a discussion topic that we could use in a future newsletter, please email me at [email protected]
Thursday’s Utah News Roundup
Moab files detail the “domestic problem” reported prior to Gabby Petito’s disappearance. [Tribune]
Utah’s parole board has not increased compassionate care releases during the pandemic. [Tribune]
Take a tour of the historic homes of Salt Lake City’s first suburb. [Tribune]
The lamb lost at the University of Utah becomes famous as “U’s sheep”. because it escapes animal control. [Tribune]
Hip-hop stars Drake, Killer Mike and more join a man from Utah in asking for pardons for cannabis. [Fox 13]
11 autres Utahns meurent de COVID-19 et près de 1 900 autres contractent le virus. [Tribune]
Here’s how many more children have tested positive for COVID-19 after testing to stay at two Utah schools. [Tribune]
Utah man awaiting kidney transplant faces delay as COVID-19 cases fill hospitals. [Tribune]
In the review pages
– Jordan Miller of the Tribune contributed to this report.