Today's Three Things to Know: SCDEW Unemployment Data by Sector, New CDC Guidance for Employers, Federal Funding Update

Email to COVID-19 Mailing List- April 9, 2020

Today’s COVID-19 business information compiled by your SC Chamber Team includes: SCDEW Unemployment Data by Sector, New CDC Guidance for Employers, Federal Funding Update

ICYMI – Webinar TOMORROW at 11:00 AM; COVID-19 Workplace Safety Online Session

1. Latest SCDEW Unemployment Data by Sector

Based on recent unemployment data provided to the SC Chamber by the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW), we can now share unemployment data by sector in South Carolina to better understand how COVID-19 has impacted specific industries over the past three weeks.

The top 10 industry sectors (using North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) two-digit codes) with initial claims filed from March 15th to April 4th, 2020 are:

  1. Accommodation and Food Service                               34.1%
  2. Health Care and Social Assistance                              12.3%
  3. Manufacturing                                                               10.5%
  4. Retail Trade                                                                  10.4%
  5. Administrative Support and Waste Management           7.0%
  6. Other Services                                                               5.0%
  7. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation                              3.6%
  8. Professional, Scientific, and Technical                           3.4%
  9. Educational Services                                                      2.8%
  10. Wholesale Trade                                                            2.7%

These top 10 sectors represent nearly 92% of claims submitted with a known industry sector. Click here to view the complete data set.

It is important to note that the data includes claims related to COVID-19 as well as unrelated claims. This data set does not include claims that do not have a known industry code or where an industry code is pending. This can happen if the person who is filing the claim was self-employed or an independent contractor, their last employer was out-of-state, or their employer filed on their behalf.

To Recap:

  • For the week ending March 21st – the number of initial intrastate claims (within the state) was 31,054, an increase of approximately 1600% from the previous week’s count of 1,996.
  • For the week ending March 28th – the number of initial intrastate claims was 64,856, an increase of approximately 108.85% from the previous week’s count of 31,054.
  • For the week ending April 4th – the number of initial intrastate claims was 85,018, an increase of approximately 31.09% from the previous week’s count of 64,856.

2. CDC Eases Return to Work Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Workers

Yesterday, the CDC issued new guidance for employers about how to implement safety procedures for workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Previously, the CDC recommended that any worker having close contact with an individual with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 be sent home for a period of up to 14 days. The new guidance applies to workers employed in a Critical Infrastructure Industry under the Department of Homeland Security’s CISA Guidance. It clarifies that even with a suspected exposure, these workers may be able to continue to work with additional safety precautions:

“CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.”

Taking additional safety measures for these employees include:

  • Pre-screening
  • Regular monitoring
  • Wearing a mask
  • Social distancing
  • Disinfecting and cleaning workspaces

Make sure to read the one-page guidance to review all the details.

3. Federal Stimulus Actions

Federal Reserve Announces Additional Loans to Support Economy: Today, the Federal Reserve (Fed) announced that they would be taking action to bolster the US economy by providing up to $2.3 trillion in loans. Multiple programs were included as part of this announcement and the items affect both businesses and consumers, as well as cities, states, and municipalities. For businesses and consumers, $2.3 trillion includes:

  • Primary and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facilities (PMCCF and SMCCF) and Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) Expansion: the three existing programs combined will now support up to $850 billion in credit backed by $85 billion in credit protection provided by the Treasury
    • This program gives additional credit to households and businesses through capital markets
  • Main Street Lending Program: provides for the purchase of up to $600 billion in loans for small businesses – Treasury will provide $75 billion in equity to the facility using funding from the CARES Act
    • This will increase credit flows to small and mid-sized businesses
  • Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF): will extend credit to eligible financial institutions that originate PPP loans, taking the loans as collateral at face value

US Senate Stalled on Additional COVID-19 Funding: US Senate Republicans and Democrats disagree on the next iteration of Coronavirus financial support.

  • Republicans want to add $250 million to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – which will likely soon run out of the initial $349 million initially allocated in the Coronavirus Aid, Response, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
  • Democrats also want to include the $250 million for PPP but want to add $100 billion for healthcare providers, $150 billion in states and local government aid, and a 15% increase in food assistance as well, for a total of over $500 billion.

Unable to make a compromise on those items today, the Senate adjourned until Monday, April 13th, and negotiations expected to continue through the weekend.