Economics in the News - Aug. 2-8, 2021 How Economics Impacts Our Lives on a daily basis

Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week related to economics.

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." -- Stephen King, author
Some large businesses are beginning to mandate and provide incentives for their employees to become vaccinated. For months, some of the largest businesses have been reluctant to mandate the vaccine for their employees, but with the cases of the Delta variant surging, businesses are being forced to act.

Companies such as Tyson Foods, Microsoft and Google have each announced in the past week a vaccination mandate among their employees. Other companies, such as Walmart and Uber, have mandated vaccines for white-collar workers, but not those on the frontlines. Many companies are worried that requiring their workers to become vaccinated will give their workers a reason to quit. [The New York Times]

The United Nations have released a dire warning about the continued increase in the earth’s extreme weather caused by global warming. Scientists caution that the climate’s temperatures within the next decade will pass the level sought by world leaders.

In the 2015 Paris climate agreement, leaders agreed to limit an increase in average temperature to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The report by the UN projects that the world will pass that 2.7-degree target by the mid-2030s with extreme weather becoming more common. [Associated Press]

After a yearlong wait, a global pandemic and a typhoon, Tokyo’s Olympic Games, originally scheduled for 2020, have ended. These Olympic Games presented logistical and medical obstacles that were unmatched from any other Olympic Games.

The 2020 Olympics marked the fourth time that the Japanese have hosted the Olympics. The United States won the medal count and captured more gold medals than any other country. Paris is scheduled to host the 2024 Olympic Games. [Associated Press]

Is your school going to require masks this upcoming school year? It’s a question that parents, students and teachers are asking, as summer comes to a close and schools welcome students back. However, the surge in new COVID-19 Delta variant have sent some districts scrambling to reconsider their masking guidelines.

The CDC’s guidance from July recommends that students and faculty wear masks in school buildings regardless of vaccination status, but it’s not a requirement by the Federal Government. That leaves the decisions to states, cities and school districts to decide. [The Wall Street Journal]

For the first time in the United States labor market, average pay in restaurants and supermarkets exceeds $15 an hour. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. workers now earn at least $15 per hour, an increase of 20 percent since 2014. Employers have found it difficult to bring back workers that lost their jobs during the pandemic, as workers are rarely accepting jobs that pay less than $15 per hour.

Average hourly wages for non-managers are up 7.8 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. However, economists caution that a higher average wage isn’t the same as a $15 minimum wage that has been pushed by workers, politicians and others. The federal minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour. [The Washington Post]


All photos credited to iStock