Two-thirds of travel sector employers with staff still on the furlough scheme are planning redundancies once the wage support is removed at the end of the month, the travel association ABTA has warned.

The body said a survey of its membership showed that 69% of employers planned to let staff go after 30 September.

It blamed “overly-cautious” coronavirus restrictions on travel in the UK, saying they had hammered demand during the peak summer season and inflicted huge damage on the industry’s chances of recovery as a result.

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Travel boss welcomes prospect of UK restrictions easing

ABTA said that it expected almost 100,000 people in the sector, including airlines, to have either lost their jobs or walked away during the COVID pandemic once the Job Retention Scheme was closed.

The figure rose to 226,000 when the employment impact on the supply chain was factored in, its report said.

It warned that 43% of travel agent and tour operator workers, tens of thousands of people, were currently still on furlough though the report could not put a number on the roles set to be lost.

ABTA spoke out as ministers prepare to review the restrictions covering international travel by 1 October – with discussions set to intensify this week as the PM outlines later on Tuesday his plan to deal with coronavirus over the coming months.

ABTA is demanding the traffic light system for destinations is scrapped, along with the widespread use of PCR testing.

It accused the government of wasting the success of the vaccine rollout to date and said it should be up to individuals to determine their own risk status.

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Javid wants to scrap PCR tests for travellers

The body complained that shifting restrictions and confusion meant that 58% of bookings, with departure dates in July or August this year, had to be postponed or cancelled.

It concluded that too much damage had been done to demand for the government to end financial support now, with a letter to Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak urging “a package of tailored financial support – extending the furlough scheme for travel businesses and a dedicated grant fund”.

ABTA chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said: “The government’s travel requirements have choked off this summer’s travel trade – putting jobs, businesses and the UK’s connectivity at risk.

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Heathrow boss urges change to travel rules

“While our European neighbours have been travelling freely and safely, the British were subject to expensive measures which have stood in the way of people visiting family and friends, taking that much-needed foreign holiday and making important business connections.

“The government needs to wake up to the damage its policies are doing to the UK travel industry and the impact they will have on the wider economic recovery.

“It is the fares from leisure passengers that keep our planes flying

After nearly eight years of a strained and periodically hostile relationship between the mayor of New York City and its business community, the city’s likely next mayor on Monday delivered a clear message: He wants a reset.

“New York will no longer be anti-business,” declared Eric Adams, the Democratic mayoral nominee who is almost certain to win November’s election, in a speech at a business conference in Manhattan. “This is going to be a place where we welcome business and not turn into the dysfunctional city that we have been for so many years.”

In many ways, Mr. Adams and Mayor Bill de Blasio have found political common ground, and Mr. de Blasio was thought to favor Mr. Adams during this year’s primary. But Mr. Adams’s brief remarks on Monday underscored what may be one of the most consequential differences between the de Blasio administration and an Adams mayoralty: a significant shift, in tone and approach, when it comes to dealing with the city’s big-business community.

Mr. de Blasio has, at times, fostered close ties to the real estate community, but he based his campaign on addressing the city’s widening inequity, saying that New York had become a “tale of two cities.” He has also downplayed the need to bring back wealthy New Yorkers who fled during the pandemic.

Mr. Adams also ran on a message of combating inequality and was embraced by key labor unions. But his main focus was on combating crime, which also happened to be a primary concern of the city’s business elite. And he took a far warmer approach to engaging the business community, becoming a favorite of New York’s donor class, with whom he has spent much of the summer, while earning skepticism from the left. Publicly and privately, he has pledged to travel to Florida to bring erstwhile New Yorkers home.

His remarks on Monday, focused on fostering deeper partnerships between New York City and the business community, came at the SALT Conference, held at the Javits Center and overseen by Anthony Scaramucci, the onetime Trump White House communications director. The schedule promised appearances from two hedge fund billionaires who were principal backers of a super PAC supporting Mr. Adams’s candidacy: Daniel S. Loeb, a prominent charter school supporter, and Steven A. Cohen, the owner of the Mets.

Mr. Scaramucci, a Wall Street veteran, donated $2,000 to Mr. Adams’s mayoral campaign. Over the weekend, former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who got on poorly with Mr. de Blasio, released a direct-to-camera video noting his support of Mr. Adams, who is facing off against Curtis Sliwa, the Republican candidate, in the general election.

“As a candidate, Eric Adams has shown ambition and political courage,” Mr. Bloomberg said in the video.

In his speech, Mr. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, urged employers to collaborate with the city on a common job application, part of a suite of proposals aimed at boosting the city’s economy and combating unemployment and underemployment.

“I’m proposing an unprecedented partnership between city

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Business travel is in many ways the lifeblood of the travel industry. Even if you only travel for leisure, the highly profitable business traveler affects every seat in the plane and every room in the hotel. But that traveler is dialing back, perhaps permanently. Now what?

Scott Hornick, partner, Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman

“Something in the range of a 10% to 25% reduction in business travel long term,” according to Scot Hornick, a partner at consultancy Oliver Wyman’s, which conducts a Traveler Sentiment Survey of 2,500 business travelers. The trends identified help the firm inform its clients in the travel sector and supporting industries.

But business travel is far from monolithic, and Hornick points out stronger travel resumption plans among infrequent business travelers who have little travel to cut back on as well as “muddy boots” travelers, who ply skilled trades at work sites and don’t have the option to “zoom it in.” 

Even for those who can work remotely, the pandemic gave pause to some business travel habits that now seem extravagant at best and absurd at worst. “No longer would you see the investment banker flying across the Atlantic for a breakfast meeting at Heathrow and then flying right back,” says Hornick. 

All of which could leave some very pricey seats and rooms yawning for occupants. “We’re going to see travel companies take higher-end travel products and try to capture more leisure travelers with them,” says Hornick. “You may not have the same number of business class passengers as before, so how can you induce leisure class travelers to buy up to that product?”

united-polaris-seats-1

Tired of walking past Business Class seats to get to you crummy coach seat for a vacation flight? Airlines may soon have some offers you can’t refuse.


Kent German/CNET

Still, Hornick points out that the business travel trend line is much better than it was in 2020. Among respondents who said they will travel more in the future, 20% cited an effectiveness of teleconferencing, 18% said they simply can’t do their job remotely, and another 18% cited a job change into a role that requires more travel.

Oliver Wymans’ Scot Hornick shared many nuanced insights into the trajectory of business travel with CNET’s Brian Cooley. Hear them all in the video. 

The US economy had a record 10.9 million job openings on the last day of July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Wednesday.

Jobs, jobs, everywhere.

That’s what the latest snapshot of the United States labour market is telling us. The world’s largest economy had a record 10.9 million job openings on the last day of July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said on Wednesday. That marked an increase of 749,000 job openings from the previous month – which was also a record.

In a sign of how confident people feel about their employment prospects, some four million Americans quit their jobs in July – roughly level pegging with the previous month.

While that may be awesome news for workers pounding the pavements in search of gainful employment, it is not necessarily great for the economy as a whole.

Why? Because jobs are only created when someone is actually hired. And robust jobs creation is the hallmark of a robust economic recovery.

In August, the US economy added 235,000 jobs – a bitter disappointment that marked the slowest pace of monthly non-farm payrolls added since January.

The economy is still 5.3 million jobs shy of regaining its pre-pandemic level from February 2020. And that shortfall doesn’t even account for growth in the economy or labour force since then, which means the hole is even deeper than the number suggests.

The Delta drag

Many analysts primarily blamed the slowing pace of jobs creation in August on a surge in COVID-19 infections linked to the Delta variant of the coronavirus. As evidence, they pointed to the sharp slowdown of new jobs added in the leisure and hospitality sector – hotels, restaurants and other businesses that engage in face-to-face customer services.

Leisure and hospitality businesses have reported difficulties hiring enough workers over the summer. Some analysts attribute the number of jobs going begging to businesses opening en masse and all vying for the same workers. Other possible reasons cited include an ongoing lack of childcare options, older workers opting to retire early, fear of contracting COVID-19 and enhanced federal jobless benefits giving unemployed workers more breathing room to switch up how they make a living.

Federal job benefits, including the sometimes controversial $300-a-week federal top-up to state unemployment benefits, expired this week. That will put to the test claims by politicians and others that federal unemployment benefits were the primary culprit keeping jobless workers on the sidelines.

Looking ahead

While COVID-19 infections are weighing on the US recovery, along with bottlenecks for raw materials and labour, the nation’s economic recovery is still on track.

Many analysts, though, are lowering their outlook for economic growth.

“Signs that Covid infections may be cresting should prevent the labor market recovery from going into reverse and ensure that consumer spending maintains moderate momentum into 2022,” Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, wrote in a note on Wednesday. He added that his firm has trimmed its 2021 gross domestic product growth forecast by 0.6

Businesses’ payrolls rose by 374,000 last month, after a revised gain of 326,000 in July, according to ADP Research Institute data.

By Bloomberg

U.S. companies added fewer jobs than expected in August, reflecting persistent hiring challenges and suggesting a slowdown in the labor market recovery.

Businesses’ payrolls increased by 374,000 last month, after a revised 326,000 gain in July, according to ADP Research Institute data released Wednesday. The figure fell short of all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

The weaker-than-expected hiring gain suggests firms are still struggling to attract applicants and fill a record number of vacant positions. At the same time, the delta variant could present additional headwinds to hiring if consumer spending on services like dining out pulls back meaningfully.

Service-provider employment increased 329,000 in August. Payrolls at leisure and hospitality businesses advanced 201,000 during the month. Employment at goods producers was up 45,000, led by a 30,000 jump in construction.

“The delta variant of Covid-19 appears to have dented the job market recovery,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said in a statement. “Job growth remains strong, but well off the pace of recent months.”

The combined payroll gain in July and August was the slowest since the start of the year, according to ADP.

The figures come just before the government’s monthly jobs report, and economists expect private payrolls to advance by 652,000 in August. The unemployment rate is projected to fall to 5.2% as participation improves.

The increase in August payrolls was broad across firm sizes. Companies with 500 or more workers added 138,000 while small businesses took on 86,000.

ADP’s payroll data represent firms employing nearly 26 million workers in the U.S.

CAMPUS AND FACILITIES:
Lake Ridge Academy’s centrally located campus, set on 93 acres, contains a large pond, woods, gardens, a windmill and a solar panel array, which are used as a living laboratory and classroom in the school’s natural world education.

The Kemper Science and Engineering building includes an engineering fab lab (equipped with 3D printers, a CNC router, and vinyl and laser cutters), a college-level chemistry and research lab, and a greenhouse.  

The campus also includes a 500-seat auditorium, a full-court gym, a fine arts building, science and computer labs, a large library and dedicated Lower, Middle and Upper school facilities.

ACCREDITATION:  
Lake Ridge is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States.  

EXTRACURRICULAR PROGRAMS:  
There are over 45 Middle and Upper School athletic teams and student-led clubs, including one of the state’s top Mock Trial teams. 

UNIQUE STUDY OPTIONS/PROGRAMS:  
Lake Ridge’s three Centers of Excellence, the academic pillars of its curriculum, provide enhanced learning opportunities for K-12 students, along with intensive graduate certificate programs for interested Upper School students.

Center for Scientific Research and Exploration: The STEAM science curriculum incorporates science, technology, engineering, art/design and mathematics to establish a solid foundation in biology, chemistry and physics. Upper School students can be accepted as fellows into the Institute for Scientific Research or as apprentices in the Institute for Engineering and Innovation. In addition, they can conduct an independent, two-year research or engineering project.

Center for Fine Arts: Lake Ridge’s arts education encourages students to develop skills and cultivate an appreciation in music, voice, dance, theater and visual arts. Its Lower School utilizes the Orff-Schulwerk approach of incorporating music and movement to build early music appreciation. Meanwhile, the School of Fine Arts accepts Upper School students who are seeking a greater emphasis and training to develop their artistic talents.

Leisure and hospitality across the state added back jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic as Louisiana hit 1,849,200 jobs in July. 

The state is still 117,300 jobs short of the economy in July 2019 but nearly all metro areas have been recovering with the exception of Lake Charles. 

In the Baton Rouge metro area leisure and hospitality accounted for the biggest gains in the region, adding 6,200 jobs over the year. Construction added 4,000 jobs while education and health services added 2,700 jobs. Financial activities lost 400 jobs, government 300 jobs and mining and logging lost 100 jobs. 

Across the Lafayette metro area education and health services added back the most jobs, 2,800 jobs followed by leisure and hospitality 1,800 jobs and professional and business services 1,500 jobs. Government lost 500 jobs, manufacturing lost 400 jobs and financial activities lost 300 jobs. 

In the New Orleans metro area leisure and hospitality added 13,100 jobs, education and health services 4,800 jobs while professional and business services 3,800 jobs. Construction lost 1,300 jobs, financial activities and government both lost 1,100 jobs while mining and logging lost 300 jobs. 

One year after Hurricane Laura hit the Lake Charles region, the metro area was still down 1,900 jobs over the year. Trade, transportation and utilities was still down 1,400 jobs for 15,300 overall. 

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The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.7% in July compared to 10.5% in July 2020. Statewide unemployment rate was 6.3% in July, down from 10% last year. 

Baton Rouge area unemployment hit 5.8% in July, an improvement from 9.2% in July 2020. New Orleans metro area unemployment was 7.6% in July down from 11.9%. Lafayette metro area unemployment was 5.6% in July, down from 9.2%. The Lake Charles metro area unemployment was 6.3% in July, down from 10%.

The Quad-Cities had one of the largest over-the-year percentage increases in total nonfarm jobs in Illinois during July 2021.

The Davenport-Moline-Rock Island metropolitan statistical area increased employment by 4.4%, or 7,500 jobs, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

The area saw a 4.8% decrease in unemployment rates, going from a rate of 9.8% in July 2020 to 5% in July 2021. The last July the unemployment rate was lower than 5% was in 2019 at 3.8%.

Moline and Rock Island experienced a 7.6% decrease in unemployment, bringing their rates down to 4.9% and 5.6%, respectively.

Economists consider an unemployment rate of 5% or lower to be full-employment.

The sectors with the largest job growth in the Quad-Cities were the government, leisure-hospitality, manufacturing, and construction industries, adding 6,000 jobs since July 2020. The financial activities and information sectors recorded job declines, losing 200 jobs since last July.

Overall, the state-wide data on metropolitan areas reflects recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Deputy Governor Andy Manar.

“Today’s data is reflective that reopening and recovery is touching every corner of the state,” Manar said in the release. “With the expiration of federal unemployment programs in a week and a half, IDES is focused on matching jobseekers with employers to continue to assist with statewide economic recovery.”

Covid infections remain elevated after lockdown

The number of daily new Covid infections has remained elevated in the past month after the removal of most pandemic restrictions, fuelled by the Delta variant. The latest daily figures up to 25 August show 35,847 people tested positive for Covid-19 across the UK, an increase from the start of the month. Almost 48 million people have had a first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, about 88% of the adult population. More than 42 million have had a second, about 77%.

Travel remains above pre-pandemic levels

The number of trips taken on the UK’s roads and using public transport stayed above pre-pandemic levels in the past month after the removal of most remaining Covid-19 restrictions in July. According to Apple mobility data – which records requests made to Apple Maps for directions – bus and train journeys are almost 50% above levels recorded in January 2020, while walking and driving has also risen. However, overall retail footfall in mid-August was still at 82% of the level recorded in the same week of 2019, before the pandemic, reflecting continued caution as Covid infection rates remain high.

Tapering fears weigh on global stock markets

Global financial markets have come under pressure in the past month as central banks consider tapering their emergency Covid-19 support packages, despite weaker growth in the world economy amid the spread of the Delta variant. In London, the FTSE 100 has dropped by about 100 points from a high of 7,220 in mid-August. However, the leading index of UK company shares remains higher than its starting point for the month, in a sign that some confidence remains in the global recovery.

Cooling inflation offers temporary reprieve

Retailers cut prices of clothes, footwear and cheaper electronic goods last month, which helped push down the annual rate of UK inflation by more than expected. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the consumer prices index fell from 2.5% in June to 2% in July, as retailers returned to more usual patterns of seasonal discounting than in 2020 when the first Covid lockdown weighed heavily on the economy. The Bank of England has said, however, that inflation could rise temporarily, reaching close to 4% this year, before pandemic-related disruption gradually fades.

Staff shortages sap economic recovery

Britain’s economic recovery from lockdown faded in August as businesses faced the worst shortages of workers and materials in decades. The IHS Markit/Cips purchasing managers’ index, a closely watched gauge of private sector activity, dropped to 55.3 in August from 59.2 in July. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. It comes despite the easing of most remaining pandemic restrictions in England on 19 July, as firms struggle to recruit staff, endure temporary “pingdemic” absences and grapple with global supply chain problems. Growth was higher in the eurozone than the UK, although continental firms were also hit by supply chain disruption. US private sector output also fell.

Retail sales unexpectedly fall

Retail sales in Great Britain experienced a sharp,

Much-delayed corridor plans ran afoul of case spikes and “differences in the anti-epidemic strategies”

The governments of Singapore and Hong Kong have ended efforts to establish an air travel bubble between the two destinations. In statements confirming the decision to halt further discussions, both countries indicated that policy changes in the fight against COVID-19 had made a travel bubble agreement unworkable.

“In Singapore, a substantial proportion of our population is fully vaccinated,” read a statement from Singapore’s ministry of transport. “Hong Kong too is progressively vaccinating its population. Both sides are focused on keeping our populations safe and preventing the risk of imported cases.”

However, the ministry said Singapore has shifted its strategy toward becoming “a COVID-resilient nation,” the statement continued. “Against this backdrop, both parties agreed that it would not be possible to launch or sustain the ATB in its present form.”

Officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region cited “differences in the anti-epidemic strategies currently adopted by the two places.” Hong Kong said that Singapore’s new strategy meant that “the basic premises that underpin the ATB have changed.”

The two countries had originally planned to start the corridor in November 2020. However a spike in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong pushed the launch date to May, only to be postponed again because Singapore saw a spike in the number of cases. In June Singapore’s ministry of transport said it would revisit the possibility of a travel bubble with Hong Kong in July, but the latest announcement appears to scuttle the plan for good.

Notwithstanding, Singapore has announced that beginning August 21, it will unilaterally allow travelers from Hong Kong to enter without being required to quarantine. However restrictions remain in place for travelers arriving into Hong Kong from Singapore, although “Hong Kong will continue to consider adjusting its border measures to facilitate travelers from Singapore to enter Hong Kong,” according to the Singapore ministry of transport.

At the outset of the pandemic, the industry had looked at air travel bubbles as one way to safely resume international flights, but thus far, the policies have not played out in the real world of SARS-CoV-2. The failure of Singapore-Hong Kong corridor follows the suspension of the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble in July.