South Carolina unemployment falls, but tourism jobs vanish

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s unemployment picture has improved overall, with 20,000 people finding work and businesses reopening as they adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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But restaurants, hotels and other tourism businesses continue to struggle, having lost more jobs even in the height of the summer season, according to the August unemployment figures released Friday by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

The unemployment rate in South Carolina dropped to 6.3% in August, down from 8.7% in July and 12.8% in April during the peak of the outbreak, the agency said.

The unemployment rate has recovered quicker in this downturn than the Great Recession, where the drop from the 11.7% peak in December 2009 to 6.3% took more than four years, agency director Dan Ellzey said.

“We are by no means back to normal in our state, but these milestones should be acknowledged and celebrated,”

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School funding falls far short of leveling the playing field for CT students

Smalley Academy in New Britain, where the overwhelming majority of students are Latino and Black students. The district is also one of the most underfunded districts in the state and lowest-achieving.

The state’s school funding formula is failing to bridge the divide between what rich and poor towns can afford to spend on educating their students. To close these yawning disparities, the state needs to spend anywhere from an additional $338 million to $1.7 billion more a year.

These are the conclusions of a trio of analyses on how the state funds its schools. Those studies – by the New England Public Policy Center, the School and State Finance Project, and the Rutgers Graduate School of Education – were provided to the CT Mirror this week.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s New England Public Policy Center pegged the annual cost of closing this gap at between $940 million

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Free lunch program in Twin Falls School District

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The Twin Falls School District will be providing free breakfast and lunch for all Twin Falls School District students.

The district says the program is only temporary, but they hope it lasts through the end of the semester. A federally funded program went into effect Wednesday that allows the students to eat for free.

The program will be in effect until the funding runs out.

“We don’t know how long it will last, so we’re staying just for the near future, but we’re hoping it will last until the end of the semester,” explained Eva Craner, the district’s public information officer. “We’re just excited to provide this opportunity and support to the families in our school district. We want to do everything we can to keep our community whole in these challenging times.”

Craner says the program is available to online students participating in IDLA and

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Drop in Sioux Falls enrollment means less state aid, ‘cautious’ budget, school district officials say

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Principal Daniel Fischer greets students as they arrive off the bus for the first day of school on Thursday, August 27, at Discovery Elementary School in Sioux Falls. (Photo: Erin Bormett / Argus Leader)

The Sioux Falls School District expected to significantly pass 25,000 students this year, but instead officials say they’re seeing a decline in enrollment and that could put a ding on how the district handles funding for the 2021-2022 school year.

The district initially projected having an additional 200 students compared to last year’s overall enrollment of 25,311. Instead, the district dropped by about as many, according to an initial enrollment report given to the Sioux Falls school board Monday night. 

Including Pre-K, Sioux Falls schools had 25,164 students as of the fourth day of school. Numbers won’t be finalized until the end of September.

“We knew there would be some variability, and I

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Unemployment falls to 8.4 percent as employers add 1.4 million jobs in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate fell sharply in August to 8.4% from 10.2% even as hiring slowed, with employers adding the fewest jobs since the pandemic began.

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Employers added 1.4 million jobs, the Labor Department said Friday, down from 1.7 million in July. The U.S. economy has recovered about half the 22 million jobs lost to the pandemic.


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Friday’s report from the Labor Department added to evidence that nearly six months after the coronavirus paralyzed the country, the economy is mounting only a fitful recovery. From small businesses to hotels, restaurants, airlines and entertainment venues, a wide spectrum of companies are struggling to survive the loss of customers with confirmed viral cases still high.

After an epic collapse in the spring, when the economy shrank at a roughly 30% annual rate, growth has been rebounding as states have reopened at least parts of

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U.S. economy gained 1.4 million jobs last month, unemployment rate falls to 8.4 percent

The economy added around 1.4 million jobs last month, reflecting a slow return to labor market growth, according to data released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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The unemployment rate fell into the single digits for the first time since the pandemic began, dropping from 10.2 percent to 8.4 percent, the monthly report showed. Before the coronavirus’ stranglehold on the economy, the rate was at 3.5 percent, the lowest in five decades.


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The August data indicates a halting recovery of the more than 22 million jobs lost since March, with July’s revised total of 1.73 million gains and June’s addition of 4.8 million positions.

“We have had three huge months of job gains, but so far have regained less than half of the losses in March and April,” said Dan North, senior economist at Euler Hermes North America. “Job gains so

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August jobs up an inline 1.37M; unemployment rate falls all the way to 8.4%

August nonfarm payrolls: +1.371M vs. +1.400M consensus and 1.734M in July (revised from +1.763M).

Total nonfarm payroll is 11.5M below the February level.

Unemployment rate: 8.4% vs. 9.8% consensus, 10.2% prior.

Average hourly earnings rise 0.4% M/M vs. estimate of -0.1%.

Regarding fiscal policy, the better than expected report will mean less pressure to provide another stimulus package, according to economist Christophe Barraud.

And on the monetary policy side, there’s less pressure on the Fed to change its forward guidance soon, he said.

Labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to 61.7% in August; that’s still 1.7 pp below its February level.

“These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

Increase in government employment reflects temporary hiring for the 2020 Census.


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First Nations back-to-school COVID-19 funding falls far short, says AFN regional chief

a group of people sitting in a room: First Nations schools, like Sturgeon Lake Central School in Saskatchewan seen in 2018, will be receiving $112 million for COVID-19 back to school preparations, Ottawa announced Wednesday.

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First Nations schools, like Sturgeon Lake Central School in Saskatchewan seen in 2018, will be receiving $112 million for COVID-19 back to school preparations, Ottawa announced Wednesday.

The $112 million for COVID-19 back-to-school preparations for First Nations that Ottawa announced on Wednesday falls far short of needs faced by communities, according to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) regional chief responsible for education. 

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron, who is the AFN regional chief for Saskatchewan, said the over 630 First Nations across Canada need about $1 billion to fully prepare for the restart of classes amid the pandemic. 

“Obviously our expectations were much higher,” said Cameron, who holds the education portfolio.

“We should have received $1 billion or close to it and at least we would have a fighting chance to have our schools ready.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the $112 million

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Amazon submits plans for Sioux Falls facility, grant could bring 1,000 jobs and $200M investment


In this December 2019 file photo, Amazon packages move along a conveyor at an Amazon warehouse facility in Goodyear, Arizona. An Amazon delivery station is expected to open in Gainesville at 2121 NW 67th Place by the end of 2020. (Photo: Associated Press file)

Amazon has agreed to build a facility in Sioux Falls, adding 1,000 jobs and $200 million in private investment, as part of a federal grant application for expanding an industrial park in the northwestern corner of the city.

The Seattle-based tech giant joined a combined effort with leadership from the city of Sioux Falls, the state of South Dakota and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation in requesting $1.9 million in funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, according to documents obtained Monday by the Argus Leader.

The money would be used to build out and add infrastructure and utilities for Foundation Park, with Amazon signing

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