Millions retired early during the pandemic. Many are now returning to work, new data shows.

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/05/05/retirement-jobs-work-inflation-medicare/

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Roughly 2.4 million additional Americans retired in the first 18 months of the pandemic than expected, making up the majority of the 4.2 million people who left the labor force between March 2020 and July 2021, according to Miguel Faria-e-Castro, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

The percentage of retirees returning to work has picked up momentum in recent months, hitting a pandemic high of 3.2 percent in March, according to Indeed. In interviews with nearly a dozen workers who recently “un-retired,” many said they felt comfortable returning to work now that they’ve gotten the coronavirus vaccine and booster shots. Almost all said they’d taken on jobs that were more accommodating of their needs, whether that meant being able to work remotely, travel less or set their own hours.

“This is primarily a story of a tight labor market,” said Bunker of Indeed, who added that there was a similar rebound in people returning from retirement after the Great Recession. “For so much of last year, the big question in the labor market was: Where are all the workers? This year we’re seeing that they’re coming back.”

Author(s): Abha Bhattarai

Publication Date: 6 May 2022

Publication Site: WaPo

Teslas running Autopilot involved in 273 crashes reported since last year

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/15/tesla-autopilot-crashes/

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Tesla vehicles running its Autopilot software have been involved in 273 reported crashes over roughly the past year, according to regulators, far more than previously known and providing concrete evidence regarding the real-world performance of its futuristic features.

The numbers, which were published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the first time Wednesday, show that Tesla vehicles made up nearly 70 percent of the 392 crashes involving advanced driver-assistance systems reported since last July, and a majority of the fatalities and serious injuries — some of which date back further than a year. Eight of the Tesla crashes took place before June 2021, according to data released by NHTSA on Wednesday morning.

Previously, NHTSA said it had probed 42 crashes potentially involving driver assistance, 35 of which included Tesla vehicles, in a more limited data set that stretched back to 2016.

Of the six fatalities listed in the data set published Wednesday, five were tied to Tesla vehicles — including a July 2021 crash involving a pedestrian in Flushing, Queens, and a fatal crash in March in Castro Valley, Calif. Some dated as far back as 2019.

Author(s): Faiz Siddiqui, Rachel Lerman and Jeremy B. Merrill

Publication Date: 15 Jun 2022

Publication Site: Washington Post

A NHTSA official spent years trying to cut road deaths. They jumped last year.

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2022/05/21/road-deaths-fatalities-safety/

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Before Jeffrey Michael spent three decades in the federal government trying toreduce the nation’s road fatalities, he worked in college as a car mechanic.

He took that love of cars to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, where he worked on seat belts, child restraints, drunken driving and emergency medical services, eventually overseeing behavioral research at the agency. At home in the Washington suburbs, he would tinker with the 1987 Porsche 911 he bought as a fixer-upper. After retiring in 2018, he joined the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

Michael saw the abilityof federal programs to influence safety and cites a gradual reduction in road deaths over 50 years. But in an interview with The Washington Post — daysafter new NHTSA figures showed fatalities hitting a 16-year high — Michael pointed to the nation’s failure and potential fixes.

Author(s): Michael Laris

Publication Date: 21 May 2022

Publication Site: Washington Post

New York’s vaccine czar called county officials to gauge their loyalty to Cuomo amid sexual harassment investigation

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/cuomo-schwartz-vaccine-calls/2021/03/14/18f2e320-8448-11eb-9ca6-54e187ee4939_story.html?fbclid=IwAR1_kucY6IuuqosArhyJ203JxSha3ZcmndHtvDX6URSZod-bqCmgxCZBB0k

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New York’s “vaccine czar” — a longtime adviser to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — phoned county officials in the past two weeks in attempts to gauge their loyalty to the embattled governor amid an ongoing sexual harassment investigation, according to multiple officials.

One Democratic county executive was so unsettled by the outreach from Larry Schwartz, head of the state’s vaccine rollout, that the executive on Friday filed notice of an impending ethics complaint with the public integrity unit of the state attorney general’s office, the official told The Washington Post. The executive feared the county’s vaccine supply could suffer if Schwartz was not pleased with the executive’s response to his questions about support of the governor.

The executive said the conversation with Schwartz came in proximity to a separate conversation with another Cuomo administration official about vaccine distribution.

Author(s): Amy Brittain, Josh Dawsey

Publication Date: 14 March 2021

Publication Site: Washington Post

In Democrats’ progressive paradise, borrowing is free, spending pays for itself, and interest rates never rise

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/03/03/democrats-stimulus-spending-inflation/

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To hear it from liberal economists, progressive activists and Democratic politicians, there is no longer any limit to how much money government can borrow and spend and print.

In this new economy, we no longer have to worry that stock prices might climb so high, or companies take on so much debt, that a financial crisis might ensue. In this world without trade-offs, we can shut down the fossil fuel industry and transition to a zero-carbon economy without any risk to employment and economic growth. Nor is there any amount of infrastructure investment that could possibly exceed the capacity of the construction industry to absorb it.

Rest assured that the economy won’t miss a beat no matter how far or fast the minimum wage is raised. And whatever benefits are required by the always struggling middle class can be financed by raising taxes on big corporations and the undeserving rich.

Author(s): Steven Pearlstein

Publication Date: 3 March 2021

Publication Site: Washington Post

2020 saw an unprecedented spike in homicides from big cities to small towns

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/reoord-spike-murders-2020/2020/12/30/1dcb057c-4ae5-11eb-839a-cf4ba7b7c48c_story.html

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2020 has been a killer year in every way, including murder. The United States has experienced the largest single one-year increase in homicides since the country started keeping such records in the 20th century, according to crime data and criminologists.

The grim body count isn’t quite over yet, but the data collected so far is stark — a 20.9 percent increase in killings nationwide, in the first nine months of the year, according to the FBI, and even bloodier increases in many major cities, due largely to gun violence.

Author: Devlin Barrett

Publication Date: 30 December 2020

Publication Site: Washington Post

Partly hidden by isolation, many of the nation’s schoolchildren struggle with mental health

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/student-mental-health-pandemic/2021/01/21/3d377bea-3f30-11eb-8db8-395dedaaa036_story.html

Excerpt:

Mental health problems account for a growing proportion of children’s visits to hospital emergency rooms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From March, when the pandemic was declared, to October, the figure was up 31 percent for those 12 to 17 years old and 24 percent for children ages 5 to 11 compared with the same period in 2019.

Authors: Donna St. George and Valerie Strauss

Publication Date: 21 January 2021

Publication Site: Washington Post