May 8, 2020

COVID-19 VACCINE

  • Moderna has announced that they have received approval for their phase 2 trials while they are still completing phase 1.
    • These trials are sponsored by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).
    • Phase 2 will include at least 600 participants receiving two different dosages and a placebo
    • Finalizing plans for a Phase 3 trial as early as this summer (previously it was set to begin in the fall)
    • Looking to have its biologics license application (BLA) approval as soon as 2021. This approval would let the vaccine go into use.
  • Pfizer and Inovio also have clinical trials on the go.
  • BioNTech aims to have millions of doses ready by the end of the year.

CANADIAN EMPLOYMENT DATA

  • Canada’s unemployment was up 13.0% in April vs 7.8% in March.
  • Jobs fell by 2 million (we were expecting 4 million), for a total of 3 million over the past 2 months and a decrease in our work force of nearly 16%.
    • Our work force hasn’t been this small since the 60’s
    • Hours worked have been reduced by a massive 28% since February
    • The participation rate fell 3.7% to 59.8%
    • Job cuts driven by the private sector (-1,874k), full time dropped 1,472k
    • All provinces saw job losses with Ontario (-689k), Quebec (-557k), British Columbia (-264k) and Alberta (-244k), leading the way

Statistics Canada Survey on Business Conditions: Impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Canada, conducted from April 3-24th

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200429/dq200429a-eng.htm The Owl, ATB Economics, April 30, 2020

  • Alberta Stats:
    • 43.6% have reduced staff hours or shifts
    • 2.8% have increased staff or shifts; 2.1% have increased wages
    • 1 in 5 have reduced wages
    • 7.7% have delayed paying staff
    • 41.8% have laid off staff
    • 1 in 10 have laid off all employees; 25% have laid of 50% or more

US EMPLOYMENT DATA

  • The non-farm payroll shrunk by 20.5 million in April, having an unemployment rate of 14.7% (estimated 22 million and unemployment @16.7%).
  • The private sector lost 19.5 million jobs, service sector lost 17.1 million jobs, including -7.7 million in leisure/hospitality.
  • All the jobs created in the US since 2011 have been wiped out.
  • Highest unemployment since 1940 when it was 14.7%.
  • The participation rate at 60.2% was the lowest since 1972. (this means it was closer to average near 62% then the unemployment rate might have been 16.5%).

CRIME IN A TIME OF COVID-19

  • Fewer traffic violations, less drunk driving and fewer frauds.
  • Edmonton police have seen 52% increase in mental health calls in March 2020 versus March 2019.
  • Maryam Monsef, Canada’s minister for women and gender equality says COVID-19 is empowering domestic violence abusers as rates rise in parts of Canada.
  • Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters says domestic violence has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

TIDBITS

  • Alphabet CEO said offices will slowly being reopening in June, with 10-15% of workers in at a time.
  • Apple will reopen stores in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama and Alaska starting next week; with temperature checks and limited number of people in stores.
  • Vice-President Mike Pence’s press secretary tests positive for coronavirus.
  • TD Bank expects to record loan loss provisions of C$1.1 billion in its US retail banking business.