Missouri Minute: Unemployment falls to 6.9%; Fed keeps interest rates steady

Hello, MBA readers,

As the race for the White House continues, captivating the attention of many across the country, other functions of the federal government continue in the background, delivering decisions and data of economic consequence. With talks of a federal stimulus plan stalled and the economy still below pre-pandemic levels, the Federal Reserve Bank on Thursday announced it will keep interest rates near zero, a move made in hopes of helping the economy get fully back on its feet. As swing states updated election counts early Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics provided its monthly update on unemployment. The rate dropped a full percentage point in October, to 6.9%, signaling continued but slowing recovery of jobs that were lost this spring after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. But another number reported early Friday — 122,000 — pointed to obstacles ahead for that economic recovery. That was the number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University, setting a new single-day record.


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US adds 638,000 jobs as unemployment falls to 6.9%
The unemployment rate fell a full percentage point in October, but job gains slowed from their levels in August and September. The U.S. has 10.1 million fewer jobs now than it did before the pandemic set in. (Associated Press)

Fed keeps interest rates steady as economy remains ‘well below’ pre-pandemic levels
The Federal Reserve Bank held short-term borrowing rates near zero. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank is committed to helping the country’s economic recovery “for as long as needed.” (CNBC)

GOP lawmakers want to shield businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits
Republican leaders in the Missouri Legislature want a law that protects nursing homes, schools and other businesses from liability lawsuits related to COVID-19. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Amazon, Republic confirm fulfillment center
The e-commerce company’s new southwest Missouri city facility is slated to create more than 500 full-time jobs, and expected to open in 2021. (Springfield Business Journal)

Spire announces program to help customers pay overdue gas bills
The natural gas utility will credit up to $400 per person for Missouri customers who have lost jobs or income because of the pandemic. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Federal judge orders SBA to release details of PPP loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration has been ordered to release detailed information about the $659 billion Paycheck Protection Program by Nov. 19. (Kansas City Business Journal)

MRIGlobal plans $16.6 million diagnostics center upgrade
The Kansas City research institute has helped initiate $11 million of COVID-19 projects since its new diagnostics center opened last year. The upgraded center is expected to create at least 100 new jobs in the next five years. (Kansas City Business Journal)

KC investment group buys three apartment communities for $21 million
FTW Investments acquired three properties and about 430 units in total in Independence from Texas-based multifamily manager Urban Southwest Capital. (Kansas City Business Journal)

California developer plans $15 million senior community in Florissant
The developer plans to put assisted- and independent-living beds in buildings that resemble traditional homes. (St. Louis Business Journal)

ITF Group consolidates St. Louis-area facilities, plans up to 50 hires
The warehousing and logistics company recently moved to a new Hazelwood location, where it expects to add employees and see revenue increase up to 45%. (St. Louis Business Journal)


Say that again

“It’s still the affliction of bias. Those biases can make you feel like you don’t belong.”

That’s Rose Thompson, chief operating officer of investment bank ButcherJoseph & Co., speaking about the lack of minority women in the field of mergers-and-acquisitions law, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. The St. Louis chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, an industry group focused on middle-market businesses, could only identify one woman of color among its 350 members. The group’s incoming president expressed interest in having more women of color join the group, but she says the major hindrance is that companies are not hiring or promoting enough of these women to make them eligible for membership.


Go figure

$200 million

That’s how much T-Mobile will have to pay the U.S. Treasury for mistakes that Sprint made with a subsidy program, FierceWireless reports. After acquiring the Overland Park, Kansas-based telecom company, T-Mobile is now responsible for paying the settlement that resulted from Sprint collecting federal subsidies for inactive users. Sprint claimed subsidies for more than 885,000 users who were no longer using the company’s services. The Federal Communications Commission said this was the largest fixed-amount settlement that has been paid to resolve an investigation.


Hello my name is

afloat

That’s the name of the new app launched by a Kansas City-based startup aiming to foster community and social support, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The app seeks to connect members of the community in need of help with those who can assist them. The requests can range from the need for a meal to be delivered to a request for a ride. The startup recently raised more than $500,000 from local angel investors.


It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.



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