Negotiations set to begin on a multi-trillion dollar social policy bill, a goal for a massive ramp-up in solar power, a plateau in new job postings, wage gains and potential inflationary pressure, and Connecticut falling behind on greenhouse gas emissions goals are among the top business news items this morning.
Deliberations are set to begin over funding sources for a $3.5 trillion bill led by congressional Democrats to support a variety of social policies. Backers of the legislation are likely to pursue changes such as an increase to the corporate income tax rate and a higher top individual income tax rate.
The Biden administration has announced a goal of significantly ramping up U.S. solar power over the next three decades, seeking to have 45 percent of the nation’s electricity generated by this energy source. The goal would require a significant acceleration in solar installations, as just 4 percent of U.S. electricity came from solar in 2020.
The spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant has caused an easing in new job postings, driven mostly by a dip in demand for labor at service-oriented businesses like restaurants and salons. However, open positions are still near record levels due to more postings in white-collar fields such as software development.
Some economists are raising concerns that recent wage gains could result in more persistent inflationary pressure. The Federal Reserve is so far attributing price increases to supply issues, saying wage pressures have not been excessive and that inflation is likely to be transitory.
An annual report on Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions suggests that the state is not on track to meet the goals set by the state’s legislature in 2008. The report says higher transportation emissions are the chief drag on progress, though commercial emissions have also increased since 1990.