Expectations of more persistent inflation, COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the courts, an increased number of truckers sidelined due to substance abuse issues, a grant for statewide economic development planning, a planned innovation center in Shelton, and the termination of Connecticut health care system employees who flaunted a vaccine mandate are among the top business news items this morning.
Investors and analysts expect that inflation will persist longer than expected, with the 10-year break-even rate suggesting that the consumer price index will increase by an average of 2.57 percent over the next decade. While inflation is expected to ease after the increased consumer spending of the holiday season, other factors such as higher energy prices and rents are expected to continue exerting pressure.
COVID-19 vaccine mandates established by entities such as local governments and educational institutions have been surviving court challenges. Court opinions hold that the mandates have been implemented lawfully, and only after less stringent efforts to incentivize vaccinations fell short.
The number of truck drivers prohibited from driving due to substance abuse violations has been on the rise. Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that 60,299 drivers were temporarily prohibited from driving while completing a return-to-duty process as of June 1, 2021, up from just 18,860 in May 2020.
Connecticut is one of 24 states receiving a $1 million grant through the U.S. Commerce Department. The money, approved through the American Rescue Plan, is earmarked to support statewide efforts to improve economic development and competitiveness, combat climate change, and recover from the pandemic.
Ranpak, a sustainable packaging company based in Cleveland, will establish an 80,000-square-foot innovation and automation center in Shelton. Construction center is slated to be complete by the end of 2022, and the center is expected to employ up to 100 workers by 2024.
Two major health care systems in Connecticut, Hartford HealthCare and Yale New Haven Health, have terminated a total of about 150 workers who refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The figures represent a small fraction of the systems’ overall workforces.