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— The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the April jobs report this morning. It’s not going to be pretty.
— The White House is scrapping CDC guidelines for how businesses and other public place should reopen safely.
— HHS Secretary Alex Azar said workers’ “home and social” conditions were to blame for massive outbreaks in the meatpacking industry.
GOOD MORNING. It’s Friday, May 8, and this is Morning Shift, your tipsheet on employment and immigration news. Send tips, exclusives and suggestions to [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter at @RebeccaARainey and @TimothyNoah1.
IT’S JOBS DAY: And a gloomy one. BLS will release its April employment report at 8:30 a.m. Economists expect it to show coronavirus destroyed more than 20 million jobs last month, and that unemployment was somewhere between 15 to 20 percent (which would make it the highest since the Great Depression of the 1930s).
S&P Global Economics estimates 26 million jobs were lost in April, the largest drop since the monthly survey began in 1939. They put the April unemployment rate at 18 percent, more than four times its level in March.
Goldman Sachs economists have a slightly less dismal estimate that April unemployment was 14 percent (which would also make it the highest since the Great Depression). Economic researchers at Goldman say they’ll be looking for the number and share of workers on furlough or temporary layoff. “If job losses are concentrated in this segment,” they write, “it would increase the scope for a more rapid labor market recovery when the economy eventually rebounds (because employees can be recalled to their previous jobs, as in several past recessions).”
BUT BUT BUT: BLS’s figure may understate the true number of Americans out of work because it’s based on a survey conducted the second week in April. Over the past several weeks, 33.5 million Americans filed new unemployment claims, your host reports. In order to be counted among the unemployed in BLS’ survey, a worker must be looking actively for work, something many people aren’t doing because the pandemic has them housebound.
The April jobs numbers will go live at 8:30 a.m. here.
“Pelosi to lay down multitrillion-dollar marker with new coronavirus package,” from POLITICO’s Heather Caygle, Sarah Ferris and John Bresnahan
“When will all the jobs return?” from POLITICO’s Ben White
— “Raytheon Technologies to Cut $2 Billion in Costs, Furlough Staff,” from The Wall Street Journal
— “The Results Are In for the Sharing Economy. They Are Ugly.” from The New York Times
— “MGM Resorts Warns 63,000 Workers of Possible Layoffs,” from The Wall Street Journal
W.H. SCRAPS CDC REOPENING GUIDELINES: The White House ordered the CDC to revise a guide to reopening public places and businesses because it didn’t align with President Donald Trump’s strategy of giving states the final say, our Brianna Ehley reports. The Associated Press reported Thursday that the White House rejected the 17 pages of recommendations for safely reopening restaurants, child care facilities, and other establishments as dozens of states began lifting lockdown orders.
The White House viewed the draft guidance as “countermessaging” and “too prescriptive,” Ehley reports, as the administration pushes governors to devise their own plans for restarting businesses and other institutions.
State and local health departments have relied on the CDC during past public health crises, and businesses have clamored for more specific guidance from the federal government on how they should proceed. But since March the White House has shifted much of that work to its coronavirus task force.
FIRST IN POLITICO . . .The International Franchise Association, which has a seat on President Trump’s reopening task force, is planning to release its recommendations for changes that businesses need to make to ensure that employees and customers are kept safe when they reopen.
“As per the President’s request to me as a member of his Great American Economic Revival task force, these considerations and recommendations have been delivered to the White House, as well as Members of Congress and our nation’s governors and mayors,” IFA CEO and president Robert Cresanti wrote to the group’s members.
The IFA blueprint recommends that businesses consider practices such as staggered work schedules, limited occupancy levels and frequent disinfection of the workspace. It also provides specific safety recommendations for industries that often have direct contact with customers, including the automotive, education, hotel, restaurant and senior health services sectors.
While the guidelines are directed towards franchises, a spokesman for the IFA said they’ll “certainly be applicable to non-franchise businesses.”
MORE: “Store workers become enforcers of social distancing rules,” from the Associated Press
AZAR FAULTS WORKERS’ ‘HOME AND SOCIAL’ CONDITIONS FOR MEATPACKING OUTBREAKS: HHS Secretary Alex Azar said workers’ “home and social” conditions were the reason for crippling coronavirus outbreaks at U.S. meatpacking facilities, our Adam Cancryn and Laura Barrón-López report.
“Azar told a bipartisan group that he believed infected employees were bringing the virus into processing plants where a rash of cases have killed at least 20 workers and forced nearly two-dozen plants to close,” the pair write. “Those infections, he said, were linked more to the ‘home and social’ aspects of workers’ lives rather than the conditions inside the facilities, alarming some on the call who interpreted his remarks as faulting workers for the outbreaks, the people said.”
“At least 6,500 meatpacking plant employees have contracted Covid-19 so far, raising concerns about the conditions for a mostly low-income workforce that’s made up predominantly of racial minorities and immigrants. Some 44 percent of meatpackers are Latino and 25 percent are African American, according to an analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.”
“Official: Strict US border policy may remain as virus eases,” from The Associated Press
“ICE detainee in California is first in U.S. immigration custody to die of coronavirus,” from The Washington Post
HISPANICS TWICE AS LIKELY AS WHITES TO HAVE LOST JOB: Hispanics are twice as likely as their white counterparts to have lost their job due to the pandemic, The Washington Post’s Tracy Jan and Scott Clement report.
A Washington Post-Ipsos poll “finds that 20 percent of Hispanic adults and 16 percent of blacks report being laid off or furloughed since the outbreak began in the United States, compared with 11 percent of whites and 12 percent of workers of other races,” the duo writes. “Blacks and Hispanics are also dying of covid-19 at higher rates than whites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
“Age and education also factor into the layoffs. The Post-Ipsos poll finds younger and blue-collar workers, as well as those without college degrees, are most likely to have lost their jobs. Hispanic men are hit the hardest — with 22 percent saying they’ve been laid off or furloughed. Among Hispanic women, 18 percent report being furloughed or laid off.”
SCOTUS PUNTS ON IMMIGRATION LAW QUESTION: “The Supreme Court has effectively balked at deciding whether a federal law violates the First Amendment by making it a crime to encourage a foreigner to remain in the U.S. illegally,” POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein reports.
In the unanimous ruling, the justices said the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should not have declared the law overbroad, and “faulted the appeals court for raising the issue and requesting friend-of-the-court briefs on it, rather than simply responding to the arguments from the parties.”
FAMILY SUES MEAT COMPANY OVER WORKER DEATH: “The family of a beef plant worker who died because of the coronavirus has brought a wrongful death lawsuit in a Philadelphia court against JBS SA, the world’s biggest meat company,” Millie Munshi reports for Bloomberg. “Ferdinand Benjamin filed the suit on Thursday after his father, Enock Benjamin, died of respiratory failure caused by Covid-19,” she writes. The elder Benjamin worked at the JBS USA plant in Souderton, Pennsylvania.
Earlier this week, a federal court in Missouri dismissed a lawsuit against leading meat company Smithfield that sought greater Covid-19 safety protections for workers at a plant in Missouri, deferring to OSHA, which is investigating the plant.
MORE: “American Meat Workers Are Starting to Quit With Plants Reopening,” from Bloomberg
— “SBA slashes disaster-loan limit from $2 million to $150,000, shuts out nearly all new applicants,” from The Washington Post
— “Chicago teacher who crossed the picket line during the strike is now suing the teachers union over dues payments,” from The Chicago Tribune
— “In the heartland, a businessman fears Washington as much as coronavirus,” from POLITICO Magazine
— “Work-From-Home Congress Also Can’t Figure Out How to Unmute,” from The Wall Street Journal
— “Telework may save U.S. jobs in COVID-19 downturn, especially among college graduates,” from Pew Research Center
— “Left bucks Biden over Reade allegations,” from POLITICO
THAT’S ALL FOR MORNING SHIFT!