The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for June 8

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Small Business News Highlights for June 8: 

  • Bureau of Labor Statistic admits classification error behind surprising May jobs numbers
  • U.S. officially entered recession in February 
  • Tips for avoiding lawsuits 

Unemployment closer to 16.3% for May

“You can 100% discount the possibility that Trump got to the BLS. Not 98% discount, not 99.9% discount, but 100% discount. BLS has 2,400 career staff of enormous integrity and one political appointee with no scope to change this number.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics pointed to an ongoing classification error as part of the reason behind the surprising and unexpectedly low unemployment rate for May. Noting how hard it is to collect unemployment data in real time, the agency said that the true unemployment rate was approximately three points higher than reported, putting the figure closer to 16.3% for the month of May. 

While some have claimed that the Trump administration was behind the inflated figure, career bureaucrats from both parties insist that it’s not possible and that the problem really is related to classification problems. Even after adjusting the unemployment rate to reflect the error, the data did show that the number of unemployed Americans did decrease slightly from the month of April.

U.S. officially entered recession in February

“We could have the shortest recession in history — it seems ridiculous, but we could.”

A group of economists crunched the numbers and made a declaration: the U.S. officially entered a recession in February

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the country met broad criteria for a recession, ending the longest period of U.S. economic expansion on record

While the numbers are still staggering, a growing number of businesses are reopening despite the ongoing concerns of the COVID-19 public health crisis and economists note that the unique conditions that precipitated the recession could also contribute to a faster-than-expected recovery. 

Tips for minimizing liability when reopening

“While business owners should absolutely make the necessary steps to mitigate their risks, they shouldn’t be paralyzed by their fears, they should be energized by what lies ahead.”

Small business owners proceeding with reopening in the midst of the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases have good cause to be concerned about liability for employees or customers who catch the virus. 

Even so, there are ways that business owners can minimize their risk of liability, protecting both the company and workers alike. For starters, stay informed about local, state and federal regulations, making sure that your actions comply with established policy. Create a written plan to mitigate the spread of diseases and clearly communicate and enforce safety protocols. 

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