The end of federal supplemental unemployment benefits, an ongoing trend of decreased office occupancies, dimming hopes for a revival in business travel, an expectation of persistent delivery delays, and company efforts to address worker burnout are among the top business news items this morning.
Federal supplemental unemployment assistance, including a controversial $300-a-week benefit, ended over the Labor Day weekend. The expiration removes an estimated 8 million people from unemployment assistance, while approximately 2.7 million will be left with only their state benefits.
Office occupancy rates remained tepid in August as the COVID-19 Delta variant delayed plans to resume in-person work arrangements. Commercial property owners have largely anticipated that more companies would resume office operations after Labor Day.
The Delta spike is also dimming hopes for a fall recovery in business travel. Airlines, hotels, and other businesses reliant on this type of travel were hoping for a post-Labor Day rebound, but any increase is likely to be dampened as more companies retain remote work for now.
Delivery delays are expected to persist well into next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. An analysis suggests that the delays will last until at least the fall of 2022 due to record import levels and logistical challenges in moving goods once they’re finally offloaded.
More companies are offering policies aimed at addressing worker burnout and forestalling resignations. These have ranged from forbidding employees to use work e-mail on the weekends to mandatory “wellness weeks” where employees get a break from work.