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Business News Roundup, Dec. 20, 2021

A tipping point on the Build Back Better Act, booster effectiveness against the COVID-19 Omicron variant, shrinking household savings and the labor shortage, the growth of tidal power, and workplace fatalities in Connecticut are among the top business news items this morning.


Senator Joe Manchin has said he is unable to support the Build Back Better Act, effectively ending the likelihood of that the $2 trillion social policy and environmental bill will pass the evenly divided Senate. The legislation aims to pursue a number of climate initiatives and reduce costs in areas like health care and child care, but opponents have criticized the size and scope of the measure.

Moderna and Pfizer have announced that initial data suggests that booster shots of their COVID-19 vaccines trigger an increase in antibody levels capable of fighting the virus’s Omicron variant. The drugmakers are also developing shots that better match the variant in case they’re needed.

Business trends

Some economists are anticipating that labor shortages could begin to ease as Americans’ household savings shrink. While the savings rate shot up during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been dwindling recently and that factor could spur greater participation in the labor force.

Tidal power is becoming a more prominent part of Britain’s blue economy, with numerous companies working to roll out new projects and technology. However, the growth of tidal stream and wave energy capacity remains slow compared to the increase in offshore wind developments.


Connecticut had a low tally of workplace fatalities in 2020, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Twenty-nine workers lost their lives on the job during the year, compared to a low of five in Rhode Island and a high of 469 in Texas.

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