September 3, 2021

COVID AND THE REOPENING

  • Firms around the world are requiring employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to return to the office and in-person meetings with clients.
    • Includes banks, law firms, accountants, private companies, Telus, Rogers Communication and Bell Canada among others
    • More than 50% of US companies are imposing vaccine mandates and 25% are considering vaccination a condition for employment
  • Ontario modelling shows that the COVID-19 vaccination rate must be above 85% to avoid a fall lockdown. Currently 83% of those over 12 have had one vaccine and 76% are fully vaccinated.
  • BC, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba are introducing vaccine passports.
  • Alberta has the most new infections in Canada, with more than 7,000 reported in 1 week and the highest vaccine hesitancy at 16%.
  • US added Canada to ‘reconsider travel’ advisory list because of COVID-19.
  • Saudi Arabia has the world’s toughest vaccine rules…refusal to vaccinate can block shoppers from grocery stores, travelling abroad, or kids over 12 attending school.

US EMPLOYMENT

  • US added 235,000 jobs in August (smallest in the past 7 months) vs 733,000 expected.
  • Unemployment rate fell to 5.2% vs 5.4%.
  • 5,700,000 Americans are not looking for a job even though they want to work (these individuals are not included in the unemployment rate) vs 5,000,000 February 2020.
  • 5,600,000 Americans are unable to work because their employer closed or lost business because of the pandemic.
  • Participation rate is 61.7% (the same as June 2020).
  • Average hourly earnings rose $0.17 to $30.73
  • 50% of US small business owners reported unfilled job openings in August due to the lack of ‘qualified’ candidates.

DEMENTIA’S IMPACT (WHO REPORT)

  • More than 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia. (Global population 7.9 billion)
    • Estimated cost to the world is $1.3 trillion per year
    • Number afflicted is expected to rise to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050 (60% in low and middle income countries)
    • 10% of cases affect people under age 65
    • 25% of countries have a national policy to support patients and their families

TIDBITS

  • More than 90% of Americans now have health insurance coverage.
  • More than 1 billion Asians will join the global middle class (earning at least $36,500/yr) by 2030. (Source: World Data Lab)
    • India and China will add 750,000,000
  • Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp is spending $8.87 billion to build a new chip plant in the outskirts of Shanghai.
    • Toshiba has warned that power-chip supply will stay tight for another year
    • GM, Ford, and Stellantis are all idling vehicle plants due to the global chip shortage
  • China is limiting minors to 3 hours of online gaming per week.