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Business News Roundup, February 25, 2021

Congress is set to vote tomorrow on a large economic stimulus proposal, and several states are passing similar measures for their own residents. The markets are signaling that strong economic growth is in store for this year, but jobless claims remain persistently high. The CDC is asking gyms and fitness centers to be more cautious about COVID-19 safety protocols. And Connecticut’s governor is pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state.


House Democrats are looking to vote on a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus proposal on Friday and hoping that the Senate could vote on the measure by mid-March; Republicans have uniformly opposed the proposal. The Senate is also awaiting a decision by its parliamentarian on whether a federal minimum wage hike to $15 an hour could be included in the bill if it is passed by a simple majority.

Market indicators are pointing to expectations of strong economic growth on increasing COVID-19 vaccinations and federal relief. There are also predictions of more consumer spending this year, as personal savings rates increased during the pandemic.

A total of 710,000 initial jobless claims were filed last week, a significant decline from the previous week. At the same time, these claims remain well above pre-pandemic levels, with the labor market still missing about 10 million jobs compared to early 2020.

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Some states have been taking action on their own COVID-19 relief measures, with five states implementing packages that offer direct payments, small business assistance, and other aid. These actions have caused some politicians to question whether state and local assistance will be necessary in federal relief measures, but state governors say this aid is still essential to help residents and speed COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Centers for Disease Control is urging gyms and fitness centers to be more stringent about COVID-19 precautions after blaming carelessness regarding these rules for outbreaks in Chicago and Honolulu. The CDC says the virus can be more easily transmitted at these businesses due to heavy breathing in confined spaces.


Governor Ned Lamont said at a recent roundtable discussion that now is the time for Connecticut to legalize recreational marijuana use, noting that several other states have taken this step and that Connecticut can use these precedents to instruct its own policy. Lamont’s plan would allow recreational marijuana sales to begin in 2022.

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