SWC’s Fast Five

Business travel has a long road to recovery, deaths from COVID add up quickly while the vaccine rolls out slowly, economic recovery will be great if you can hold on until that happens, taxes are still due on time and, guess where everybody is moving!

So, here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1 Many thousands of business travel-related jobs lost to the pandemic will not come back anytime soon

Big U.S. airlines typically generated half their profit from the higher fares paid by business travelers, who accounted for less than one-fifth of their seats before the pandemic. Since February 2020, about one million travel-related jobs have been lost according to the Labor Department, including more than 600,000 hotel positions and 120,000 airline and related staff. Also cut were thousands of positions in fields ranging from restaurants to aerospace manufacturing to convention-center operations.

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2 Just hang on, Part 1

The new administration is sticking by its 100 million vaccine doses in the first 100 days. Even so, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, says the Covid-19 vaccine will not be widely available by late February as former Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar promised last month. What we will get by then, given the current pace, is another 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

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3 Just hang on, Part 2

There are signs of resilience and recovery that suggest the prospect of a rebound, perhaps a robust one, by the second half of the year. Still, for now, many signs are dreary: Consumers have retrenched and months of job gains have turned to losses. New applications for unemployment benefits remain historically high and the human toll of the pandemic recession, from long food bank lines to apartment evictions, has yet to show much improvement.

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4 Taxes – still due by April 15

The I.R.S. has struggled in recent years with reduced budgets, fewer workers and outdated computer systems. It also had the extra work in 2020 of distributing stimulus checks. As of Dec. 25, there were still nearly seven million unprocessed individual returns from tax year 2019, per the I.R.S. website. Even so, the I.R.S. said most taxpayers due a refund for the 2020 tax year will get it within three weeks if they file electronically and have the money deposited directly into their bank account. The I.R.S. will start processing returns February 12.

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5 You’ll never guess the top 10 cities people headed to in 2020 with a one-way U-Haul ticket

Yeah, yeah, Florida, but it dropped in the rankings, and Texas, that went up, but the list’s number one was a bit of a surprise and, also among the top 10 – Missouri!

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