Falling incomes in the United States, a White House meeting with business leaders on a proposed vaccine mandate, higher metal costs, the potential expansion of Governor Ned Lamont’s emergency powers, and a major grant for the Connecticut Sea Grant are among the top business news items this morning.
Census data shows that the median income for Americans fell 2.9 percent to $67,251 in 2020 as part of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Census Bureau also determined that federal stimulus prevented an estimated 5 million people from falling into poverty.
President Joe Biden met with executives of major businesses to discuss his proposed vaccine mandate for companies employing 100 or more people. The companies represented in the meeting have already established their own mandates or are working on implementing one.
Manufacturers are facing the highest steel and aluminum costs in years. Companies have been seeking available supplies and paying higher prices to acquire the raw materials necessary to meet elevated consumer demand.
Governor Ned Lamont is seeking to extend his emergency powers at least 90 days past their current expiration date of Sept. 30. Lamont says the extension is necessary to maintain a number of key COVID-19 mandates, though critics have charged that the power give too much authority to the executive branch and that an extended state of emergency is no longer necessary.
The Connecticut Sea Grant, which is based at University of Connecticut at Avery Point, has been awarded a $850,000 federal grant to research the problem of “contaminants of emerging concern,” or residues of common household products that create a risk for water pollution. The Connecticut Sea Grant is partnering with similar programs in New Hampshire and North Carolina.