Tag: Claims

Unemployment claims drop, but Bay Area tech firms prep layoffs

SAN JOSE — Unemployment claims in California fell to their lowest levels since coronavirus-linked business shutdowns began — but Silicon Valley tech companies and at least one big services firm that caters to the tech sector have prepped new layoffs.

In November alone, Hitachi Vantara, Boston Scientific, Marvell Semiconductor, and PayPal have revealed plans for job cuts for their operations in Silicon Valley, according to official state filings.

Despite the improvement in unemployment claims in California, the disclosures of tech industry layoffs coupled with the reality that weekly jobless filings remain far higher than what is typical in the Golden State are disquieting reminders that the economy in the state and the Bay Area remains feeble.

California workers filed 129,700 first-time claims for unemployment benefits during the week that ended on Nov. 28, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

The latest jobless claims totals in California were down 38,500 from the unemployment filings for the week that ended on Nov. 21, when 168,200 California workers filed for jobless benefits.

The totals for the week of Nov. 28 were the lowest since 57,600 California workers filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending on March 14, which was when state and local government agencies began to impose business shutdowns to combat the coronavirus.

Nine months later, business shutdowns appear certain to continue and perhaps even intensify.

The situation is disturbing enough that a growing number of companies and organizations are warning that any new major shutdowns might force them to keep their doors closed permanently if government agencies impose severe closures and restrictions in the quest to battle the deadly bug.

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    Hitachi Vantara offices at 2535 Augustine Drive, Santa Clara. Unemployment claims in California fell to their lowest levels since coronavirus-linked business shutdowns began — but Silicon Valley tech companies and at least one big services firm that caters to the tech sector have prepped new layoffs.

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    Boston Scientific offices at 185 Constitution Drive in Menlo Park. Unemployment claims in California fell to their lowest levels since coronavirus-linked business shutdowns began — but Silicon Valley tech companies and at least one big services firm that caters to the tech sector have prepped new layoffs.

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    Marvell Semiconductor headquarters at 5488 Marvell Lane in Santa Clara. Unemployment claims in California fell to their lowest levels since coronavirus-linked business shutdowns began — but Silicon Valley tech companies and at least one big services firm that caters to the tech sector have prepped new layoffs.

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    PayPal offices at 2211 N. First St., San Jose. Unemployment claims in California fell to their lowest levels since coronavirus-linked business shutdowns began — but Silicon Valley tech companies and at least one big services firm that caters to the tech sector have prepped new layoffs.

 

In the most recent round of tech layoffs, according to official filings that the state Employment Development Department posted in November:

— Hitachi Vantara said it was eliminating 148

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US jobless claims and hunger spike as Congress goes on vacation

The latest weekly report from the Department of Labor on new claims for state unemployment benefits, released Wednesday, showed the first back-to-back increase in five weeks, with 778,000 seasonally adjusted claims for the week ending Nov. 21. The figure represents an increase of 30,000 from last week’s revised total of 748,000.

The report also revealed that an additional 311,000 people applied for unemployment benefits through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

Volunteers pack boxes of food outside Second Harvest Food Bank in Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Nov. 7 was over 20,400,000, an increase of more than 135,000 from the previous week. There were about 1,488,000 people claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2019. This means that nearly 14 times as many people are claiming jobless benefits this month as in the same month last year.

Since mid-March, there has yet to be a single week in which combined state and federal unemployment claims have not topped 1 million. Overall, nearly 69 million jobless claims have been filed since March, an unprecedented figure nearly six times the average yearly amount in the span of roughly eight months.

The staggering level of weekly job losses, more than triple the pre-pandemic average of 225,000 claims per week, shows no signs of relenting. Thousands of small businesses, cut off from government stimulus or private loans, are shutting their doors forever amid disorganized partial lockdowns and curfews imposed on a state or local level.

Despite the unchecked spread of the virus in “superspreader” worksites, factories and schools, governors and mayors, Democratic and Republican alike, have vowed to keep businesses and schools open. For its part, the US Congress adjourned for its Thanksgiving recess without any movement towards the passage of a relief bill.

The Trump administration’s open promotion of “herd immunity,” combined with congressional inaction and indifference, have left millions of workers and students at risk of infection and death and millions more without the means to pay for necessities or plan for the immediate future.

PUA benefits, along with the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program and the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention eviction moratorium, are set to expire after Christmas, leaving over 12 million workers currently receiving payments with nothing, while an estimated 6,471,000 people will be facing eviction beginning in January.

Already, massive food lines are springing up across the country, as working class families deprived of employment and relief turn to food banks and charities in scenes reminiscent of the darkest days of the Great Depression. A US Census survey conducted between the last week of October and early November indicated that nearly 26 million adults either “sometimes” or “often” did not have enough food to eat over the prior seven days, accounting for nearly 12 percent of all US adults.

The same census report indicated that 16 percent of children do not have

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Trump cancels trip to Gettysburg hotel for a GOP hearing about baseless voter-fraud claims after a campaign adviser tests positive for COVID-19



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump. Getty


© Getty
President Donald Trump. Getty

  • President Donald Trump canceled a planned trip to a hotel in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for a Republican-organized hearing about purported voter fraud after a campaign adviser tested positive for coronavirus, pool reports said.
  • The president was expected to join his personal defense lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who attended the event despite also being exposed to COVID-19 after his son, Andrew, tested positive.
  • The Gettysburg event is said to be the first of several in battleground states designed to undermine President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the election.
  • Pennsylvania officially certified Biden’s win in the state on Tuesday.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump canceled a scheduled trip to Pennsylvania on Wednesday to attend a Republican-organized hearing about purported voter fraud after a campaign adviser tested positive for coronavirus, press pool reports said.

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Trump was expected to travel to a hotel in Gettysburg to address the event amid his campaign’s ongoing effort to overturn the 2020 election results, Axios and CNN reported. However, on Wednesday morning, Bloomberg News reported that Trump’s adviser, Boris Epshteyn, had tested positive for COVID-19.

Epshteyn did not attend the Gettysburg event, but he was in contact with Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, last week at a news conference at the Republican National Convention. Giuliani was also separately exposed to the virus after his son, Andrew, tested positive. The former New York mayor attended Wednesday’s event at Gettysburg and was seen speaking indoors without a mask in a tightly-packed room.

If Trump had attended the Gettysburg event, it would have been his first trip outside the Washington, DC, area since losing the general election. Sources told Axios and CNN that Trump was initially expected to join Giuliani at the Wyndham hotel and meet with the state’s Republican-led Senate Majority Policy Committee to discuss alleged “election issues and irregularities.”

State Sen. Doug Mastriano requested the meeting take place amid the Trump campaign’s refusal to give up its court challenges against Pennsylvania’s election results. The battleground state officially certified its results on Tuesday and confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, securing him the state’s 20 electoral votes.

The Gettysburg event is said to be the first of several planned in battleground states designed to undermine Biden’s victory in the election, CNN reported.

Jenna Ellis, an attorney working on the Trump campaign, said the outgoing president’s legal team would not “back down,” even though multiple states, including Michigan and Georgia, have certified Biden’s win.

“It’s in everyone’s interest to have a full vetting of election irregularities and fraud,” Giuliani said in a statement reported by Bloomberg. “And the only way to do this is with public hearings, complete with witnesses, videos, pictures and other evidence of illegalities from the November 3rd election.”

Trump and his campaign continue to insist, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud led to his defeat earlier this month, and Pennsylvania has been at the center of their baseless claims.

Speaking after Pennsylvania certified its election result, the

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Global airline body claims it has the solution that will allow international travel to resume

iata-travel-pass.jpg

Image: Screenshot/IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said it has reached the final development stage of a standardised digital platform that it claims would enable international borders to reopen safely and allow overseas travel to resume.

According to the IATA, the IATA Travel Pass would incorporate four open-sourced and interoperable modules that could be combined to deliver an end-to-end solution.

These modules include a global registry that would enable airline passengers to find accurate information about travel, testing, and eventually vaccine requirements for their journey, as well as the location of testing and vaccination centres at their departure location, which meet the standards for vaccination requirements of their destination.

The pass would also feature a lab app to enable authorised labs and test centres to share and test vaccination certificates with passengers, and a contactless travel app so passengers are able to create a digital passport that would allow them to receive test and vaccination certificates to verify they can travel, which could then be shared with airlines and authorities.

The app could also be used by travellers to manage travel documentation digitally, the IATA added.  

The IATA believes it could be used as the universal platform to manage and verify necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, labs, and travellers.

“Today borders are double locked. Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures. The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share, and verify test data matched with traveller identities in compliance with border control requirements. That’s the job of IATA Travel Pass,” IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said.

“We are bringing this to market in the coming months to also meet the needs of the various travel bubbles and public health corridors that are starting operation.”

The IATA also outlined that all technology used to develop the pass would be decentralised assuring that no central database holding passenger information would exist to maintain a high level of data privacy and security. Instead, passengers would have the sole right to share their data and delete it from the app at anytime.

The IATA will now work with the International Airlines Group (IAG) to trial the app to demonstrate that when combined with COVID-19 testing, it could replace the need for travellers to quarantine when travelling internationally. 

“Our main priority is to get people travelling again safely. In the immediate term that means giving governments confidence that systematic COVID-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements. And that will eventually develop into a vaccine program. The IATA Travel Pass is a solution for both,” IATA airport, passenger, cargo and security senior VP Nick Careen said.

The first cross-border pilot is scheduled later this year and slated to launch in Q1 2021.

According to the Australian government’s current COVID-19 vaccination policy, re-entry into Australia may require proof of vaccination.

“While the Australian government strongly supports immunisation and will run a strong campaign to encourage vaccination, it

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Thanksgiving 2020: 56% of Americans still plan to travel, small study claims

Whether or not travel is on the menu for your family this Thanksgiving, a surprising number of Americans still plan to hit the road for Turkey Day this year, a new study claims.

On Monday, Tripadvisor released the findings from its 2020 Thanksgiving Travel Index, claiming that over half of Americans polled – 56% – intend to leave home for the holiday amid the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. Of those, 75% said they plan to drive to their destination, while a slim 11% said they’re flying to their Thanksgiving celebrations.

Whether or not travel is on the menu for your family this Thanksgiving, a surprising number of Americans still plan to hit the road for Turkey Day this year, a new study claims. (iStock)

In another tweak to tradition, 22% said they’ll be staying in a hotel or vacation rental to socially distance from loved ones. According to the data, Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26) is expected to be the busiest departure day, as 26% of travelers venture out. The busiest return date is predicted to be Nov. 27 (aka Black Friday) as 31% of travelers head back home.

THANKSGIVING FEAST OR FAMINE? TURKEY INDUSTRY LEFT TO GUESS

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TRIP TRIPADVISOR INC. 24.31 +4.33 +21.67%
ALGT ALLEGIANT TRAVEL CO. 153.15 +15.18 +11.00%
JBLU JETBLUE AIRWAYS 15.03 +2.68 +21.70%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HLDG. 41.32 +6.64 +19.15%

“This year, we can expect shorter trips with smaller groups of people for more intimate, close-knit gatherings. Many are taking day trips (24%) or spending one night at their destination,” Christopher Hsi, consumer market research lead analyst for Tripadvisor, said in a statement. “Americans are also continuing to avoid big cities, instead opting for warm weather and beach destinations in Southern states.”

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the travel review site told FOX Business that about 400 participants were polled for the survey portion of the report.

According to the data, Thanksgiving Day is expected to be the busiest departure day, as 26% of travelers venture out. (iStock)

TripAdvisor’s booking data also showed that Florida, Arizona and South Carolina are dominating as popular destinations for the holiday. Citing year-over-year hotel interest, the report named the following cities as the fastest-recovering Thanksgiving travel destinations: Key Largo, Fla., Sedona, Ariz., Key West, Fla., Scottsdale, Ariz., Naples, Fla., Clearwater, Fla., Palm Springs, Calif., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Charleston, S.C., and St. Pete Beach, Fla.

On the other hand, the slowest-recovering destinations (according to year-over-year hotel interest) were listed as follows: New York City, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Nashville, Tenn., Boston, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Fla., Las Vegas, and San Antonio.

THANKSGIVING 2020: HOW MUCH TURKEY TO MAKE PER PERSON

Airlines and travel industry experts have seen spikes in holiday travel booking during the third quarter and into the fourth quarter, as more consumers become more comfortable with flying. One

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Rudy Giuliani Claims Controversy Over Borat Hotel Room Scene (Filmed in July) Is ‘Hit Job’ Payback for Hunter Biden Story (Released in October)



Rudy Giuliani et al. wearing a suit and tie


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Rudy Giuliani

Photo credit: Saul Loeb, AFP / Getty Images.

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and campaign fixer, Rudy Giuliani, is now claiming that the eyebrow-raising scene from the new Borat movie where he gets very comfortable with a young actress in a hotel suite is retaliation for his role in leaking alleged emails of Hunter Biden.

The scene in the movie was filmed back in July, months before Giuliani leaked the contents of Biden’s purported laptop to New York Post last week.

According to The Daily Beast, Giuliani calls the Borat controversy a “hit job” and implied it was part of a damage control conspiracy between the Bidens and Hollywood — and not an effort to drum up publicity for a movie that is, in fact, due to be released in two days.

“Now let me tell you why I know this is a hit job that happens because, it’s not an accident that it happens that I turn in all this evidence on their prince and darling Joe Biden ,” Giuliani said to The Daily Beast. “I have the courage to say that I’m the target.”

Giuliani also addressed the fact that, in the scene in question, he is filmed putting his hand down his pants after the actress removes his microphone pack and he asks for her phone number and pats her lower back/buttocks. The movie’s eponymous lead character, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, bursts into the room moments later.

“The Borat video is a complete fabrication,” he said in a post on Twitter. “I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the record equipment.”

Giuliani noted in a subsequent tweet that he reported the incident to the police right after it occurred.

“I only later realized it must have been Sacha Baron Cohen,” Giuliani said at the time of the prank, which was more than three months before he leaked purported emails from Biden. “I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me.”

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As Jobless Claims Set Record, Senate Takes Long Vacation

Spring breakers.
Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Last week, roughly 3 million Americans lost their jobs. Until today, the all-time record for weekly unemployment claims in the U.S. had been 700,000. Now it is 3.3 million (in seasonally adjusted terms). That record is likely to last exactly seven days, as economists widely believe that more Americans were laid off this week than last.

Meanwhile, confirmed coronavirus deaths in the U.S. just crossed 1,000. In some cities, hospitals are already running out of beds for the severely ill and morgue space for each day’s dead. Some have taken to storing the deceased in refrigerated trucks. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are still growing exponentially, while much of the country is failing to observe the CDC’s recommendations for containing the virus’s spread. If current trends continue, the United States may soon be the epicenter of both a global pandemic and economic depression.

And the Senate has decided that now would be a good time to take a monthlong vacation.

On Wednesday night, the upper chamber passed a $2 trillion economic rescue package (weeks after one became urgently needed). To keep America’s drowning small-business sector afloat, the law tasks the Small Business Administration with distributing $367 billion in subsidized loans in a manner that ensures all eligible enterprises will remain solvent — a task that the SBA is ill-equipped to execute and which is quite likely impossible regardless. To keep ordinary Americans fed and housed while the economy is in hibernation, the Senate did pass a robust expansion of unemployment insurance. But unemployment benefits aren’t going to do much for workers who were between jobs or recent college graduates trying to break into the labor market in historically adverse conditions. And all the Senate did for those Americans was approve a single $1,200 check — that won’t arrive in their bank accounts for weeks if not months. The legislation provided states with some federal aid, but not nearly enough to prevent state governments from being forced to actively deepen the recession by laying off public workers and paring back spending. Beyond these substantive shortcomings, the nearly 900-page legislation was subject to frantic last-minute revisions, making it all but certain that the bill will require technical corrections.

And the Senate has decided that now would be a good time to adjourn until April 20.

The (disproportionately elderly) legislative body’s desire to isolate themselves in their homes is understandable — especially when one considers that some in their ranks subscribe to a conception of individual liberty so sociopathic, they feel entitled to swim in public pools while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. But teleconferencing exists. The least these people could have done was formally approve remote voting before skipping town.

All this said, the Senate did manage to ensure that one struggling American constituency will receive the benefit of uninterrupted aid and real-time policy adjustments. Before heading home, the upper chamber empowered the Federal Reserve to make roughly $4 trillion worth of subsidized loans to

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