Good Monday morning Utah! Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.
Is it difficult for Utah businesses to find workers?
Utah rulers like to brag about the state’s low unemployment rate, which currently stands at just 2.4%. It is the second lowest in the country, just behind Nebraska.
Despite this low number, Utah’s labor shortage is one of the most acute in the country, according to a report by Pew Stateline.
For every unemployed person in Utah, there are 2.8 job openings. Only Nebraska is higher with three openings per unemployed person.
What’s going on?
The report indicates that most of the labor shortages are in low-wage sectors with high public contact. Many workers do not want to fill these positions in the midst of a pandemic. Workers are less willing to tolerate low wages and irregular hours. Companies that depend on low wages and unpredictable working hours are the most vulnerable to economic changes.
In May, Governor Spencer Cox joined several other states in ending improved unemployment benefits earlier to get people back to work. The high ratio of vacancies to unemployed suggests that the tactic has had a limited effect.
Experts say other factors like childcare issues and workers retiring early are contributing to the labor shortage. In addition, restrictive immigration policies have sharply reduced the supply of labor.
Mary Daly, chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, says Americans want to work, but it’s will make the pandemic go away before they leave work.
The pandemic situation is expected to improve now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available for most school-aged children. Still, it’s a safe bet that the tight labor market will continue for several months before reversing.
Here’s what you need to know for Monday morning
😡 The legislative leaders of Utah and Better Boundaries accuse each other of acting in bad faith during the redistribution process that has just ended. [Tribune]
Utah lawmakers have approved new political maps for the next ten years. Here’s why a lot of people are upset. [Tribune]
🏛 What lawmakers sent to Governor Cox’s office during last week’s special session. [Tribune]
🗳 New poll shows Utahns who used preferential voting in this year’s election overwhelmingly approve of the system. Robert Gehrke says supporters of RCV are hoping to convince lawmakers to expand the program. [Tribune]
➡️ The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress provides ample time for the state’s water needs. [Tribune]
🤦♂️ Representative Chris Stewart’s tweet criticizing President Joe Biden’s “build back better” spending plan inadvertently pleads for the bill. [HuffPo]
➡️ The Davis School District will investigate the bullying of Izzy Tichenor, 10, which led to his suicide. Governor Cox will also meet with district officials regarding the tragedy. [Tribune]
⚖️ Steve Bannon is expected to transform into law enforcement today after a federal grand jury charged him with contempt of Congress. [CBS News]
🏛 The House committee investigating the January 6 insurgency is expected to fire former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for criminal contempt for ignoring a subpoena. [CNN]
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso declined to condemn former President Donald Trump for defending the crowd of his supporters who chanted “hang Mike Pence” during the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. [ABC News]
Senator Mitch McConnell wanted to unseat Trump from Biden’s nomination in the wake of the deadly Jan.6 attack. [Politico]
☎️ President Biden is holding a virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday. [AP]
Ouch! President Biden’s job approval rating drops to 41% in a new poll. Only 39% of Americans approve of Biden’s way of managing the economy. [WaPo]
🚧 President Biden enlists former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu to oversee the distribution of funds for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. [NYT]
🗳 Republicans have added enough secure seats through the redistribution that they could regain control of the House on that one factor alone in next year’s midterm elections. [NYT]
💵 Former President Trump is selling his prized Washington, DC hotel for $ 375 million. [NYT]
⚖️ The jury for the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial begins its deliberations this week. The judge said the jury could consider less serious charges against the 18-year-old. [WaPo]
🚨 Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn called for Christianity to become the only religion in the United States [Insider]
➡️ Some anti-vaccines that break down and get vaccinated against COVID bathe in borax to “undo” the vaccine. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work. [NBC News]
Monday Morning Utah Headlines
Can “controlled” burns save Utah’s national forests? [Tribune]
What happened to Kim Crumbo? [Tribune]
Most cases of sexual assault in Salt Lake, Utah counties, are stuck in police departments. New research explains why. [Tribune]
The future of this historic LDS chapel is unknown, and members of the community are hoping for its rebirth. [Tribune]
A man who was arrested following the West Valley City standoff reportedly tortured a hostage. [Tribune]
Space pollution could soon give Earth its own rings. Did the Utah team find a solution in magnets? [Tribune]
Weber County GOP lawmakers welcome the US House redistribution plan. [Standard-Examiner]
Former refugees contact new Afghan refugees in Utah. [Fox 13]
Les hospitalisations liées au COVID-19 dans l’Utah sont plus élevées qu’avant le pic de l’année dernière. [Tribune]
22 more Utahns died from COVID-19. [Tribune]
Utah “isn’t in the right place” as COVID-19 cases remain among the highest in the country. [Deseret News]
Here’s a cynical argument in support of the Utah congressional map, writes George Pyle. [Tribune]
Don Gale: Tribune should hold an anti-democracy scorecard of the Utah legislature. [Tribune]
Opinion: I think state lawmakers are best qualified to redraw the political maps of Utah. [Deseret News]