A major business group seeking clarification on mandates, slowing inflation, ongoing gas price increases, the effect of mass transit concerns on return-to-office plans, the potential for a digital vaccine passport system in Connecticut, and a report suggesting slow economic recovery in Connecticut are among the top business news items this morning.
The Consumer Brands Association, a major trade group, is seeking clarification from the Biden administration on its recent push to establish a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for companies with 100 or more employers. The association shared 19 key questions it had received from its approximately 2,000 members.
The Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index posted a smaller than expected increase in August, with prices rising 0.5 percent from July and 5.3 percent from August 2020. Core inflation was up 0.1 percent from the previous month and 4 percent from the previous year.
Ongoing disruptions left by Hurricane Ida have caused gasoline prices to climb to their highest point in seven years, even as demand wanes at the end of the summer. The average retail cost for a gallon of gasoline in the United States was $3.16 in August.
Businesses seeking to reopen their offices with proper safety measures are sometimes finding that workers are still reticent to return to the workplace due to uncertainty over the safety of their commute. Company leaders note that employees that have traditionally used buses, trains, and subways worry that mass transit still poses a significant risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Governor Ned Lamont said Connecticut is considering the implementation of a digital vaccine passport system similar to one that was established in New York. The system would allow restaurants, theaters, and other venues that require proof of vaccination to more easily screen entrants.
Connecticut will lag behind the nation as a whole in its recovery from COVID-19, according to a report by the think tank Connecticut Voices for Children. The report says it will take the state nearly two years to recover the jobs lost in the pandemic at its current pace, compared to nine months in the United States as a whole.