A call for action on the debt ceiling, a cloudier future for paid leave, falling industrial production, a pandemic-driven transformation in office space, a massive new wind turbine, a missed deadline for a Connecticut port project, and the impact of a vaccine mandate on a Connecticut health care system are the top business news items this morning.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the short-term deal raising the debt ceiling will enable the federal government to continue paying its bills through Dec. 3. The brief extension came after a recent showdown between Democratic and Republican members of Congress, but Yellen said an increase or suspension of the debt limit is necessary to avoid economic uncertainty.
A proposal to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave in a major social and environmental bill could ultimately be reduced to just a few weeks as Democratic lawmakers try to trim back the cost of the legislation. The possibility of such paring is raising concerns among paid leave advocates, who say shorter leave would not have the same effect in boosting women’s participation in the labor force.
Industrial production in the United States dropped 1.3 percent in September, with nearly half the decrease attributed to disruptions wrought by Hurricane Ida. The decline included a 7.2 percent drop in the output of vehicles and vehicle parts.
The COVID-19 pandemic is driving a major transformation in office space, with new designs departing from the longstanding tradition of task-based workspaces with minimal flexibility. Modern offices include features such as no assigned seating, allowing people to choose where they work, and improved spaces for employees to socialize.
Vestas is planning to install a prototype of its enormous offshore wind turbine in Denmark in the second half of 2022. Turbines have been scaling up in size as developers look to increase the capacity of individual turbines, and the Vestas model will stand 280 meters tall and have a capacity of 15 megawatts.
The Connecticut Port Authority has missed a second deadline to obtain a federal permit necessary for work to transform State Pier in New London into a facility capable of supporting offshore wind operations. While development partners Orsted and Eversource have the option of withholding funding if the Connecticut Port Authority does not meet its deadlines, they have said they continue to be committed to the project.
A total of 94 employees in the Yale New Haven Health system will face termination for refusing to abide by a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The number represents a minuscule fraction of the system’s roughly 29,000 employees, and some of those facing termination have received their first dose and will be able to keep their job as long as they get a second dose as well.