Unemployment Numbers Improve: As reflected in numbers released Friday June 5, the U.S. economy gained 2.5 million jobs in May as some states reopened. The unemployment rate dropped to 13.3 percent from April’s number of 14.7 percent. The positive news was complicated by the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics said it had misclassified data in May, as it had in April and March. Without the error, the unemployment rate in April would have been higher at 19.7 percent, and May’s rate would have been 16.3 percent.
HEROES Act: On May 15, the House approved a fifth aid bill dubbed the “HEROES Act” (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act) that would authorize additional COVID assistance totaling $3 Trillion. The bill is now under consideration by the Senate. It includes another round of direct cash payments to individuals, extends unemployment benefits to the end of January, adds hazard pay for front-line workers and includes aid to state and local governments. It also expands virus-testing efforts and contact tracing and treatment. The bill also includes some changes to programs that were approved in the CARES Act, including an expansion of the IRS payment program. In addition, the plan sets aside $3.6 billion to protect federal elections, $25 billion to support the U.S. Postal Service, $100 billion for low-income rent support, $75 billion for a homeowner assistance fund and $100 million for the Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs. It also would expand funding for small-business loans, enhance an employee-retention tax credit program and boost worker protections.
ODJFS Employment and Training Grant: Lt. Governor Husted announced June 11 that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will receive an $8.5 million federal Employment Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant to help reemploy individuals who lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help employers rebuild their workforces. ODJFS will work with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation to facilitate the grant program through local OhioMeansJobs centers and will distribute the funding to Ohio’s local workforce areas. ODJFS will also provide outreach to employers and services to individuals who were laid off, either permanently or temporarily, as a result of the pandemic.
OEDA has been listening and learning as the issues around systemic racism have been brought to the forefront and captured the nation’s attention. It is devastating that the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd—and, sadly, the indisputable video evidence of their killings—became the catalysts for our country to collectively pay attention and admit that systemic racism exists. What is also indisputable is that the time for change is now.
Fremont- Sandusky County, Ohio – First Choice Packaging has announced plans to create at least 9 new jobs and invest approximately $1.6 million into its 1501 W. State Street facility in Fremont.
The company plans to purchase a new automated thermoformer, install a new roof, and make infrastructure improvements to their 290,000 square-foot building to accommodate the new equipment.
The Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), the economic development agency of Champaign County, has been supporting businesses in two ways to help them reopen and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the support of the Champaign County Board of Commissioners, the CEP has awarded a total of $54,265.15 to 24 small Champaign County businesses through the COVID-19 Champaign County Small Business Emergency Grant Fund. And the CEP is partnering with the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce to form the Champaign County Economic Recovery Task Force.