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EIW Today - February 5th, 2024

Prism Group's Daily Summary



THE US DIDN’T JUST AVOID A RECESSION — IT’S ADDING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF NEW JOBS... The nation’s employers delivered a stunning burst of hiring to begin 2024, adding 353,000 jobs in January in the latest sign of the economy’s continuing ability to shrug off the highest interest rates in two decades. Friday’s government report showed that last month’s job gain — roughly twice what economists had predicted — topped the December gain of 333,000, a figure that was itself revised sharply higher. The unemployment rate stayed at 3.7%, just above a half-century low. 

 

SMALL BUSINESS HEARING NEXT WEEK… The House Committee on Small Business’ Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure will hold a hearing next Thursday, February 15th on “Leveling the Playing Field: Challenges Facing Small Business Contracting.” Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY-1) will chair the hearing, which will feature testimonies from small business owners and stakeholders about burdens in contracting.  

 

NEARLY 25,000 TECH WORKERS LAID OFF IN THE FIRST WEEKS OF 2024... The first four weeks of this year, nearly 100 tech companies, including Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, TikTok and Salesforce, have collectively let go of about 25,000 employees, according to layoffs.fyi, which tracks the technology sector. 

 

THE STATE OF THE STATES 


SESSIONS BY THE NUMBERS: 


Thirty-nine state legislatures are in regular session. 

 

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING: 


The Alabama Workforce Council submitted its annual report to Governor Kay Ivey. The report outlines workforce successes from 2023 and policy recommendations to enhance workforce development. The report listed Alabama’s progress towards adding 500,000 credentialed workers by 2025, using training models and collaborative efforts to streamline workforce development boards through skills-based initiatives. 

 

Massachusetts is seeking public input on its state workforce plan via virtual meeting. The plan focuses on equity, bridging skills gaps, and preparing workers for industry needs. Public input is sought to refine strategies for collaboration between state agencies and workforce organizations. Comments will be accepted until February 16, 2024. 

 

LAWMAKERS... IN OR OUT? 


The House... convenes today at 12:00 PM. The full schedule may be found here. 

The Senate...  convenes today at 3:00 PM. The full schedule may be found here. 


HAPPENING ON THE HILL 


The House...  

Committee on Financial Services will hold a hearing on TOMORROW, 2/6 at 10:00 AM on “The Annual Report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.” 

Committee on Ways and Means will hold a hearing on TOMORROW, 2/6 at 10:00 AM on “Hearing on Examining Chronic Drug Shortages in the United States.” 

Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing TOMORROW, 2/6 at 10:00 AM on "Politics Over People: How Biden’s LNG Export Ban Threatens America’s Energy and Economic Security.” 

Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a hearing TOMORROW, 2/6 at 10:15 AM on “Protecting Missing and Exploited Children.” 

Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing TOMORROW, 2/6 at 10:00 AM on “Under the Microscope: Reviewing the SBA’s Small Business Size Standards.” 

Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing next Wednesday, 2/14 at 10:00 AM on “Burdensome Regulations: Examining the Impact of EPA Regulations on Main Street.” 

Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing next Thursday, 2/15 at 10:00 AM on “Leveling the Playing Field: Challenges Facing Small Business Contracting.” 

 

The Senate...  

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing Thursday, 2/8 at 9:00 AM on “The Financial Stability Oversight Council Annual Report to Congress.” 

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing Thursday, 2/8 at 9:30 AM to “Examine the Administration’s Pause on LNG Export Approvals and the Department of Energy’s Process for Assessing LNG Export Applications.” 

Committee on Finance will hold a hearing Thursday, 2/8 at 10:00 AM on “Artificial Intelligence and Health Care: Promise and Pitfalls.” 

Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a hearing Thursday, 2/8 at 10:00 AM entitled “Why Does the United States Pay, by Far, the Highest Prices in the World for Prescription Drugs?” 

 

BILLS OF INTEREST 


  • Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) introduced a bill to amend the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to increase the amount that may be invested in small business investment companies. 

  • Rep. Brad Finstad (R-MN-1) introduced a bill to amend title 5, United States Code, to require greater transparency for Federal regulatory decisions that impact small businesses. 

  • Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) introduced a bill to require the Secretary of Energy to establish a hydrogen infrastructure finance and innovation pilot program. 

 

AT THE AGENCIES 


The US Department of Labor 

The US Department of Labor issued a statement by Acting Secretary of Labor Su on the January jobs report. 

 

The US Department of the Treasury 

The US Department of Labor issued a readout of Under Secretary Brian Nelson’s travel to the United Arab Emirates. 

 

The US Department of Commerce 

The US Department of Commerce released remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at the NTIA Spectrum Policy Symposium. 

 

The US Trade Representative 

The Office of the US Trade Representative issued a summary of the U.S. mission to the WTO and Ambassador María L. Pagán’s engagement at the WTO during the week of January 29, 2024. 

 

The US Small Business Administration 

Check back tomorrow for possible updates. 

 

Curious for more information? 

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