Bountiful Benefits Blamed for Blocking City Unemployment Rate From Dropping to Pre-Pandemic Levels

first_img More Cool Stuff Business News 14 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Make a comment CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday (Image by Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock)California employers have added 119,600 positions as of March, state unemployment officials recently reported, leaving unfilled more than half of the 2.7 million jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.In Pasadena, the unemployment rate in March increased to 9%, up two-tenths of a percent from February, but still down from 10.4% in January and 9.8% in December, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a far cry from the best of pre-pandemic times, with local unemployment at 4.7% at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 before soaring to 15.1% the following July.Today, some are questioning why, while military recruitments are showing an increase and a clear need for workers exists, many civilian jobs remain unfilled, now that readily available anti-COVID-19 vaccines are being administered at breakneck speed (even to young teens), the number of coronavirus-related deaths has plummeted, restrictions on gathering with others have been eased or lifted, and restaurants and other retail businesses have opened, though still at limited capacities .Some have said that state unemployment benefits, combined with other federal and state subsidies, are just too much to forgo in exchange for an old job that paid less money. Add to that the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payment, which by itself is equivalent to having a full-time job that pays $15 an hour.And that, said Pasadena businessman Ishmael Trone, “has become a problem.”“It’s a huge predicament,” said Trone, a former Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Board Chair and a certified licensed tax preparer and notary public.“It’s one that we didn’t think of. Some businesses felt it during the pandemic, but like anybody else, we thought it was going to end. Open the economy up. Unemployment goes back to normalcy. We’re done. No. They keep putting more money out there,” Trone said.In Pasadena, where many businesses accepted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, the question of fairness takes on added importance. The loans will be completely forgiven if businesses spend 75% of the money on payroll within eight weeks of funding, as well as hire enough workers to reach pre-COVID-19 employment levels, according to the program’s guidelines. But, if many of these employees were rehired, they would be making far less money than if they stayed on the state’s payroll.Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Paul Little said he wasn’t familiar enough with the unemployment data to comment on whether or not people are cheating the system, but did say some employees who were laid off from their jobs have found other work.Further, he said Home Depot, which recently opened a new outlet in Pasadena, recently started hiring people, “And you know grocery stores hired a lot during the pandemic because they needed people,” Little said.“One of the challenges is that the grocery stores hired a lot of people from other businesses. So, as a result, restaurants, for example, are having hard time finding people because the people with customer service skills got hired by grocery stores, wages with benefits and insurance. So they’re not going to leave that,” Little said.What many people may not not know is things could be much worse in the world of wage-subsidies.According to a recent national survey conducted by the job-posting site Joblist, and reported on by Time magazine, as many as 59% of unemployed people never apply for unemployment benefits. The survey found that 9% were deterred by the process, which they found too difficult or complicated. The majority (54%) of respondents who were cited didn’t believe they were eligible.The truth is, “Unemployment insurance benefits are severely underutilized,” the study concluded.“Millions more people would have filed for benefits if the process were easier,” the study found.While local businesses seem to be having trouble attracting new and former workers, military officials are reporting a surge in new recruits.“As for our recruiting aspects, once the pandemic hit, our recruiting rates did go down, but everything started coming back up and, you know, as we started working on the virtual side, providing virtual presentations and just being able to go out into the community, we have been increasing within our hiring rates, but we’d like to see more individuals join and become part of our team,” said Army Captain Korina Rodriguez, Company Commander of the San Gabriel Valley Recruiting Company.“That’s what we’re looking for,” Rodriguez said.Local businesses, particularly restaurants, have not been so fortunate.“Some restaurants currently seeking employees are reporting that they are unable to fill the positions, and some have reported that some prospective employees would return or accept a position only if they are paid in cash in order to continue receiving unemployment insurance, but restaurants have refused, so they continue to struggle to hire,” said Brian Wallace, executive director of Pasadena’s Playhouse Village.“Jobs in retail and non-food service are also available and tend to be filled more easily. Stronger, larger retailers also report near-full recovery in terms of sales and employees. Again, food service jobs are plentiful but difficult to fill,” Wallace said.“If you’re making two or three times more staying home than you would at working, it’s hard to convince someone to come to work, isn’t it? And they’re getting more savvy,” Trone said. “This is what I saw all tax season. They became day traders in the stock market. They took that money. I could not believe it this tax season. ‘You freaking did day trading all day every day while sitting at home doing nothing?’” Trone said, recounting what conversations he had with some customers of his tax business. “‘I was getting the extra money,’” they’d say, “‘So I started trading in the stock market because it’s hot. It’s on fire right now.’ I went, this is unbelievable.”Said Little, “I don’t know why but there’s a hiring surge in February and it levels off and drops in March. And I think some of that is that openings and reopenings aren’t a steady increase — it’s a fits and starts kind of thing. And so it’s really difficult to predict — and the predictions have been all over the map.”To Trone, however, the problem with getting people back to work is obvious.“Everybody’s trying to hire right now,” Trone said. “If you drive around town, you see signs that say ‘I’m looking for workers, hiring now.’ But no one’s going after those because they are on unemployment. They keep putting unemployment out there like it’s never going to end, so they can’t find workers,” Trone said.center_img Community News HerbeautyA Mental Health Chatbot Which Helps People With DepressionHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThese Are 15 Great Style Tips From Asian WomenHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty5 Things To Avoid If You Want To Have Whiter TeethHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Family Friendly Dog BreedsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWhat Is It That Actually Makes French Women So Admirable?HerbeautyHerbeauty Community News Subscribe faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Top of the News Community News Bountiful Benefits Blamed for Blocking City Unemployment Rate From Dropping to Pre-Pandemic Levels By David Cross and Kevin Uhrich Published on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 | 5:57 pm Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

This smart tabletop game offers you an innovative gaming experience » Gadget Flow

first_imgThrow your Blinks at a vault to break it open and take the gold that’s locked inside. It’s like Crokinole but for crooks.PaintbrushThis game tests your strategy skills. Your Blink pieces act as both brushes and canvases.Blinks by Move38 smart tabletop game systemBlinks by Move38 smart tabletop game system with friendsPuzzle 101Work solo or with friends on these challenging puzzles that are endless and self-generating.WHAMWHAM is a smart tabletop game that lets you play Whack-A-Mole at any scale, arrangement, and for any number of players. Imagine playing the classic amusement park game on a much larger and moveable playing field.WidgetsWidgets will upgrade your game night. It lets you use your Blinks even when you’re playing other games. Blink’s Widgets can serve as your dice, coin in a coin flip, and wheel of fortune. The inventors have also created four new games that use widgets: Takeway Dice, Spinomino, Flip Bet, and Topple Stones.ZenFlowFor those times when you need a relaxing game to take care of your mental health, there’s ZenFlow. This relaxing game mesmerizes you with swirling colors and patterns, so you can find your zen.Discover new expansion gamesAnd you can keep the fun times rolling with the Epic Adventure Expansion. Blinks teamed up with creators like Big Potato Games to bring you six new game designs. The set includes six Blinks, six games, one Sushi Roll Case, one Blinks Sticker, and an instruction booklet.Blinks by Move38 smart tabletop game systemBlinks by Move38 smart tabletop game system with playersTip Toe Volcano by Big Potato GamesBet and bluff without stepping on lava in Tip Toe Volcano. This smart tabletop game is a bidding war to determine who can tip-toe the farthest around the volcano without touching the lava.Ghost Hunters by Keir WilliamsIn Blinks’ first true cooperative game, you’ll work together with other players to hunt ghosts with your flashlight and hunt evil spirits from the mansion. When the apparitions reveal themselves, you and your friends work together to make them disappear.Alchematch by Brett TaylorMatch the correct potions to create a magical brew in Alchematch. It’s a chain reaction that’s fast-paced and fun.Crownfall by Move38 Game Design InternsYou have to stay in the arena to remain in the game. Two teams are on a battlefield, but only one can win. Create an army with your Blinks to take on your opponent and protect the crown.Treasure Tumble by Jacob SurovskyYou’re an archeologist who discovers an ancient treasure chamber. Stack ancient mechanisms to redirect the falling treasure. Collect as many artifacts as you can before it all crashes down.Thalassophobia by Gabriel JonesAfter your oxygen tank leaks while you’re exploring an underwater grotto, you only have six minutes of air left. Can you find your way out of the underwater maze and make it to the surface in time?Blinks by Move38 smart tabletop game systemBlinks by Move38 smart tabletop game system at a cocktail barAs you can see, there are some very cool games you can play on Blinks. You’ll be happy to know that the pieces are durable and drop-tested in the same factory that produces LEGOs. Blinks are also water-resistant, which means you don’t have to worry about playing with them next to food and drink. Finally, each Blink is powered by a cr2032 coin cell battery and should provide over 40 hours of active gameplay.Overall, Blinks are fun, AI-powered game pieces that respond to touch and communicate with each other. Each piece knows its own game and can learn new ones. It’s a smart tabletop game that makes a great gift for any game enthusiast.The Blinks by Move38 smart tabletop game costs $79. You can preorder yours on Kickstarter. Don’t forget to share your thoughts on this gaming set in the comments. Lauren has been writing and editing since 2008. She loves working with text and helping writers find their voice. When she’s not typing away at her computer, she cooks and travels with her husband and two daughters. You land on an astroid filled with rich space ore. Can you collect enough of the material to fill your spaceship before the competition?DarkballPut your ping pong skills to the test with Darkball, another cool offering on this smart table game. You’ll play against a speedy disappearing ball and your fellow players.Group TherapyThis game pushes you to get the Blinks together because, as the Kickstarter page says, extroverts want neighbors, but introverts need their space. You’ll love the focused frenzy for one or many.Heist- Advertisement – Enjoy hours of fun with game pieces that feature AI learning. This smart tabletop game system responds to your touch, communicates with other pieces, and learns from the other pieces. Use your Blinks to play some of the most innovative games you’ve ever seen.If you’re looking for a cool new addition to your game cupboard this winter, you’ll want to consider the Blinks by Move38 smart tabletop game system. This smart tabletop game is unlike anything you’ve ever played because each piece knows a single game and communicates with its neighbors to help you play. This system provides hours of analog and digital fun, something that’s especially useful on those weekends when you’re snowed in and can’t muster the energy to shovel your walkway.The Blinks are hexagonal game pieces that fit in your palm. Each one responds to touch, communicates with its neighbors, and is magnetic. Each Blink also knows one game and teaches you and the other pieces how to play. According to the company’s Kickstarter page, it’s easy to get started. Simply grab your Blink, choose your game, and link them together to start playing. Each activity plays well with the other Blinks out of the box. And the more Blinks you add, the more challenging and fun the games get. This tabletop game includes nine Blinks, nine games, two Sushi Roll Cases, and an instruction book.Blinks by Move38 smart tabletop game system– Advertisement –center_img Blinks by Move38 smart tabletop game system with a group of friendsWhat games are included?The Blink by Move38 smart game system includes nine games. You can read the descriptions of each below.Blinks by Move38 smart tabletop game systemBlinks by Move38 smart tabletop game system in a dark roomAstro- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Norges Bank to acquire US office assets worth nearly $1bn

first_imgThe joint venture is focusing on office buildings in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York and Washington DC.The deal will be the joint venture’s fourth in the US and second in Boston, having bought the city’s One Financial Center (also from Beacon), Washington DC’s Thurmond Arnold building and 425 Market Street in San Francisco.In San Francisco, NBIM will pay around $350m for 405 Howard Street.Langley Investment Properties and GE Asset Management are selling the 521,000 sqft property, which is fully let.Based on current net operating income, the cap rate on the sale will be around 4%.All parties declined to comment. Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, is in talks to buy two office buildings in the US for $915m (€677m), according to sources.The properties in Boston and San Francisco are being bought in joint ventures with US insurer MetLife and TIAA-CREF, respectively.The Boston property – the 1m sqft One Beacon Street building – is expected to be sold for around $565m by Allianz Real Estate and Beacon Capital Partners, which bought the asset for its closed-end Strategic Partners IV fund in 2006.NBIM and MetLife’s joint venture, split 47.5% and 52.5%, has invested $2.26bn since its creation in December last year, with no target for future investment.last_img read more

Rodgers hoping Coutinho adds competition

first_imgLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expects new signing Philippe Coutinho to up the ante in the battle for first-team places but insists he will not push the player too hard, too soon. It was not an ideal introduction either as many of the players were away on international duty after midweek games so he had a “bridging session” on Thursday and took part in his first full training the following day. Unlike fellow January signing Daniel Sturridge, who came in at the beginning of the month from Chelsea and made his debut a few days later in the FA Cup, Coutinho is likely to be introduced gradually having had a recent injury at Inter. “He’s a young player I’ve got very high hopes for but Daniel was ready to come in and play – we’ll see how young Philippe goes,” said Rodgers. “He was with the medical team with Milan and he has come here and we have assessed where he is in terms of his fitness. “He trained with the group on Friday and we’ll observe him and see where he’s at but competition for places is what we want, that was the whole idea of bringing him in. “The key for us has always been to build a competitive squad that would enable us to challenge. “That will keep us going and allowing us to develop.” The 20-year-old Brazilian arrived from Inter Milan for £8.5million in the final few days of the transfer window, but he has only just spent his first few days training at Melwood after returning to Italy to finalise all the necessary aspects of the move. “He’s a top young player with big experiences and bringing him into the group adds that competition,” Rodgers said. “There’s no doubt that the team who have been involved in the last couple of games have been exceptional but it’s very important that we’ve got players in the side who are fighting to get into the team.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Lakers hit the road, destination draft lottery

first_imgAfterward, D’Antoni and the sparse group of reporters traded knowing smiles and shrugged shoulders. Everyone knew it didn’t require five minutes to sum up what the beleaguered Lakers are presently suffering through. But almost apologetically the media drummed up some questions about turnovers and such, and out of duty D’Antoni obliged with answers.In short, everyone had their job to do. And on a lazy afternoon in between a crushing Lakers loss to the Clippers and an embarrassing setback against the Cleveland Cavaliers, everyone carried out their duties.If not sprinted through them in record time.Fact is, everyone was just going through the motions. Just as the Lakers do every night they take the floor these days, almost exclusively to painful results, including the grueling trip they embark on Friday. After Wednesday’s game in Phoenix, they’re in Boston for the start of six games in 11 days away from Staples Center.It’s their annual Grammy Award road trip when Staples Center sends the Clippers, Lakers and Kings away for a few weeks to whip the arena in shape for the glitzy awards show.It’s a trip that’s been a major headache, even in the best of Lakers seasons. But they typically survived it on their way to a high playoff seed in the Western Conference — if not a run at an NBA title.But this year it will serve as a potential death knell, the likely disastrous outcome killing off any remaining hope of a playoff run.If you chose to look at it negatively, that is.The better approach is to ponder just how much headway the Lakers can make enhancing their chances in the draft lottery.Because at this point, that’s far more important to the Lakers’ future than salvaging a spot at the back end of the Western Conference playoffs, a date against the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder and a one-way ticket right out of the draft lottery.I know, I know. The Lakers would never dare think that way. Or admit it anyway.They’ll play till the bitter end, their focus on winning and making the playoffs and quickly dismissing any thought of tanking for a prime spot in the draft lottery.I get it.Doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it, though.Don’t fool yourselves. The Lakers are better off losing every game this trip.That’s what it’s come to for the Purple and Gold — mostly due to a new collective bargaining agreement intent on ripping apart their empire and making it incredibly difficult to rebuild.I’m no conspiracy theorist, so I won’t say the new rules were directed exclusively at the Lakers.But considering what went down with the Chris Paul trade and the stringent penalties levied against big-spending teams, it’s impossible not to conclude the Lakers were the intended target when small-market owners help draw up rules to level the financial playing field.What’s done is done, though. And with the rules being what they are, the quickest way for the Lakers to rebound is to fall all the way to rock bottom and build back up.The last place they want to be stuck is the middle ground dividing great from terrible. Not quite good enough to compete for a title but not bad enough to get their hands on a young superstar in the draft lottery. And since they are not magically going to rebound into a championship team this year, their best bet is to lose as many games as possible in order to improve their chances of drafting a Julius Randle or Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker and teaming them with a big-time free agent this summer.It’s come to that for the Lakers.They’ll never say it, of course.But we will. At most, six reporters, including a pair of cameramen, huddle around Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni after a recent practice.And in remarkable display of brevity, or in this case utter apathy, D’Antoni’s entire media obligation for the afternoon was finished in less than five minutes and four questions.Back in the day, that was just a warm-up for Phil Jackson.Not anymore.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more