JEDE COVID-19 Weekly Update - May 13 Edition


  • California COVID-19 Update:   Link to the most current CalOES status update.

  • California Comeback Plan:  Governor Newsom announced a $75 billion budget surplus, which will be combined with $26 billion the state will receive under the American Rescue Plans for a $100 billion COVID-19 recovery plan.  The Governor describes the California Comeback Plan as a set of comprehensive strategies and major investments to address five of the state’s most stubborn challenges. 

    • First Challenge - Immediate Needs of Lower and Middle-income Californians:  The Governor is proposing a $500 tax rebate for households with incomes up to $75,000 with an additional $600 for households with children.  This is in addition to the $600 approved earlier in the year for low-income households.  The Governor also proposed doubling the state’s rent relief program and adding a $2 billion appropriation for utility assistance. The Governor has also announced a $5.1 billion package supporting the state’s drought response and water infrastructure, improving the state’s resilience to climate change impacts.

    • Second Challenge – Homelessness:  Under the California Comeback Plan, the Governor is proposing to “functionally end family homelessness within five years through a new $3.5 billion investment in homelessness prevention, rental support and new housing opportunities for people at risk of homelessness.”  This portion of plan includes $1.85 billion new housing for homeless families and $1.6 billion in rental support and homelessness prevention for families.  Another $50 million is proposed for “targeted programs and grants to local governments, to move people out of unsafe, unhealthy encampments and into safer, more stable housing.”  There is $1.5 billion proposed to help clean public spaces near highways and transform public spaces through arts and cultural projects.  According to the announcement, the initiative is expected to create an estimated 15,000 jobs, including for people experiencing or exiting homelessness, at-risk youth, veterans and formerly incarcerated individuals.

    • Third Challenge – Transforming Public Schools:  Governor Newsom announces $20 billion in investments in public schools. These new investments are intended to “make the structural change necessary to reduce barriers while increasing opportunities across the board, including massive investments in K-12 public schools, creating universal Pre-K and college savings accounts for 3.7 million low-income children in public schools.”

  • Small Business Tax Relief:  Governor Newsom signed AB 80 (Burke) that will give small businesses hit hardest by this pandemic a $6.2 billion tax cut over the next six years – a critical lifeline that will help get our small businesses back on their feet and an important component of California’s economic recovery strategy. AB 80 excludes PPP and EIDL loan forgiveness from being counted as taxable income. 

  • Tax Relief in the American Rescue Plan:  The Internal Revenue Service published an overview of the key tax provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act.   According to the announcement, several provisions affect the 2020 tax return, including one exempting up to $10,200 in unemployment compensation from tax, and another benefiting many people who purchased subsidized health coverage through either federal or state Health Insurance Marketplaces.  The overview includes information on unemployment compensation, economic impact payments, and child care tax credits, as well as how to plan for the 2021 tax year.

  • CA Share of the American Rescue Plan:  The Legislative Analyst’s Office published a blog, Flexible Funding to California in the American Rescue Plan The American Rescue Plan includes $26 billion in flexible funds for specific projects, based on specific unemployment data used in the calculation.  Funds must be used by December 31, 2024. 

  • California-Norway Agreement:  The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development entered into a MOU with Innovation Norway on activities related to two-way trade and investment and the development of systemic solutions to combat climate change.  Among other activities, the MOU commits the two parties to:

    • Jointly participate in conferences, commercial exchanges and trade missions, business match-making, and other events that would promote the collaborative efforts between California and Norway and increase mutual trade and investment;

    • Host one official trade mission per year focused on sustainability and green infrastructure;

    • Convene roundtable/seminars with public and private actors to promote knowledge sharing and discuss strategic market opportunities on prioritized sectors of zero emission transportation, offshore wind energy development, hydrogen, and energy systems;

    • Identify, share, and validate high potential market opportunities for growth in digitization, automation, and electrification in the blue-green economy that supports sustainable growth;

    • Convene California and Norwegian green finance organizations to identify innovative, tried-and-tested mechanisms that could be rapidly deployed to accelerate private investment in areas such as electrification of public transport and renewable energy, supporting green job creation;

    • Coordinate an annual meeting with senior representatives of both organizations to discuss priorities and progress made on the MOU; and

    • Nominate a single point of contact in each organization to ensure practical implementation of MOU and mutual promotion of the MOU as a key partnership platform for the benefit of industry, business, and clusters within the opportunity areas that we are collaborating on.


  • April US Employment Data (most current):  US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released national-level employment data for April 2021.  According to the report, total US nonfarm payroll employment increased by 266,000jobs in February, reflecting a 6.1% unemployment rate.  In releasing the data, the BLS stated: “notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, other services, and local government education were partially offset by employment declines in temporary help services and in couriers and messengers.”  Unemployment among selected worker groups:  13.9% for Teenagers, 5.6% Adult Women, 6.1% Adult Men, 9.7% for Blacks, 7.9% for Hispanics, 5.7% for Asians, 5.3% for Whites.  

  • March California Employment Data (most recent):  The Employment Development Department released state-level data for March 2021.    California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.3% in March.  Nonfarm payrolls increased by 119,600 jobs from the prior month.  The civilian labor force was down -39,700 workers from the prior month and -265,700 from the prior year.  Total civilian employment was up 9,900 jobs from March 2021.  Unemployment among Blacks and Latinx were reported as 13.9% and 12.5% respectively, based on a 12-month rolling average. 

  • Local Government Fiscal Condition:  The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) released a new report, An Initial Look at Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Local Government Fiscal Condition  The report reviews the impact of COVID-19 on key local revenues, including property taxes, sales and use taxes, user charges, and transient occupancy (hotel) taxes.  Among other findings, the report states:

    • The impact on local governments’ finances varies widely based on each local governments’ reliance on the different type of revenues.

    • The pandemic increased local government costs as jurisdictions expanded and established new programs and responsibilities in order to directly address the COVID-19 emergency. 

    • Federal and state COVID-19 relief to local governments varied while some local governments received substantial flexible federal resources - others received less, and in the case of special districts, no direct federal assistance was provided.

    • The fiscal condition of local governments varies based on the demand for additional services, higher costs for employees, the dominant source of local revenues, and the availability of supplemental funding from the state and federal government.  The LAO concludes that “additional actions by the Legislature to address the economic and revenue consequences of this emergency for local governments could be warranted in some cases. However, should the Legislature wish to provide any of the state’s federal funds—or other state funds—to assist local governments, we recommend the Legislature consider using a targeted methodology to allocate such funds. To do so, this report provides a framework for the Legislature to identify local governments whose fiscal conditions most likely have been adversely affected by the pandemic.”

  • China and Manufacturing:  According to new data released by the United Nations, China is the world’s manufacturing superpower accounting for 28.7% of global manufacturing output in 2019.  The US provides 16.8% of manufacturing production in 2019 and has ranked second since China overtook it in 2010.  Manufacturing accounts for nearly 30% of China’s GDP, as compared to 11% of the US GDP.  Percentage of global production for other countries are as follows:  Japan (7.5%), Germany (5.3%), India (3.1%), South Korea (3.0%), and Italy (2.1%).

  • Consumer Price Index:  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the consumer price index increased 0.8% in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, which was a 0.2% increase over March 2021.  The all items index increased 4.2% before seasonal adjustment. According to the report, this is “the largest 12-month increase since a 4.9% increase for the period ending September 2008.  The largest increase occurred with the used cars and trucks category, which rose 10.0% in April, which was the largest single-month increase since “the series began in 1953, and it accounted for over a third of the seasonally adjusted all items increase.”  The food index rose 0.4%.

  • March Real Earning Summary:  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released a national-level real wage summary on April 13, 2021, called “Real Earning Summary” with data ranging from February to March 2021.  This summary states real average hourly earnings for all employees from February to March declined 0.8% (seasonally adjusted).  Real average weekly earnings increased 0.1% over the month due to the decrease in real average hourly earnings being more than offset by an increase of 0.9% in the average workweek.  Real average hourly earnings increased 1.5%, from March 2020 to March 2021.  The change in real average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 2.3% in the average workweek resulted in a 3.9% increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.

  • March Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization:  The Federal Reserve Bank released a national-level summary called “Industry Production and Capital Utilization- G.17” on April 15, 2021, for how major market groups and major industry groups are faring in 2021.  The summary states Industrial production increased 1.4% in March 2021.  Manufacturing output increased 2.7%, and mining production increased 5.7%, while the output of utilities increased 11.4%.  At 105.6% of its 2012 average, total industrial production in March was 1.0% higher than its year-earlier level, but it is 3.4% below pre-pandemic (February 2020) levels.  Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 1.0% in March to 74.4%, a rate that is 5.2% below its long-run (1972–2020) average.  Most market groups posted increases in March, with a 0.5% decrease in consumer goods.  Construction posted a noteworthy increase of 4.4%.  Total industrial production has not returned to its pre-pandemic levels of early last year, but increases are being recorded in most sectors.

  • March Personal Income and Outlays:  The Bureau of Economic Analysis released a national-level summary, “Personal Income and Outlays, March 2021”.  The summary reports month-over increases in personal income of $4.21 trillion (21.1%).  A decrease in disposable personal income of $4.18 trillion (23.6%) and an increase in personal consumption expenditures of $616.0 billion (4.2%).  The increase in personal income largely reflected a change in government social benefits.  Within government social benefits, “other” social benefits increased the most, which could be attributed to the additional round of direct economic impact payments to households under the American Rescue Plan.

  • March US Census Bureau Household Pulse:  US Census Bureau Household Pulse released a state-level summary called “Week 27 Household Pulse Survey: March 17– March 29” which provides insights into how households are faring during the survey period.  The summary reports the following California data:

    • 8.1% of people between Age 18-24 have no confidence to pay, slight confidence to pay, or will defer their payment of next month’s mortgage (Housing- table 2b). 

    • 11.8% of people with an income under $50,000 have no confidence to pay, slight confidence to pay, or will defer their payment to pay next month’s mortgage (Housing- table 2b).

    • 15.9% of people between Age 18-24 have no confidence to pay, slight confidence to pay, or will defer their payment to pay next month’s rent (Housing- table 2b).

    • 30.7% of people with an income under $50,000 have no confidence to pay, slight confidence to pay, or will defer their payment to pay next month’s rent (Housing- table 2b).

    • 8.9% of people between Age 18-24 received counseling or therapy from a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or clinical social worker (Health- table 4).

    • 12.8% of people between Age 18-24 needed counseling or therapy from a mental health professional but did not get access that treatment (Health- table 4).

    • 12.2% of people between Age 18-24 took prescription medication to help with any emotions or with your concentration, behavior or mental health (Health- table 4).

    • 10.6% of people with an income under $50,000 received counseling or therapy from a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or clinical social worker (Health- table 4).

    • 14.2% of people with an income under $50,000 needed counseling or therapy from a mental health professional but did not get it for any reason (Health- table 4).

    • 23.5% of people with an income under $50,000 took prescription medication to help with any emotions or with your concentration, behavior or mental health (Health- table 4).

    • $202.21 is the average dollars spent on food for households with an income under $50,000 and this leads to about $810 monthly and $9,720 yearly (Food Sufficiency and Food Security- table 1).

  • March the Federal Reserve- the Beige Book:  The US Federal Reserve issues a regular economic report 2 out of every 3 months commonly referred to as the Beige Book.  Published 8 times a year, and this is where the Beige Book aggregates knowledge on the economic conditions for each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts.  The name of this report made by the Federal Reserve is “The Beige Book: Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions”.  The data from April 14, 2021, issue of the Beige Book states economic activity in the San Francisco Region increased at a moderate rate in 2021.  Employment levels increased moderately although conditions varied significantly by regions and sectors, while wages increased at a relatively fast pace for affected jobs- construction, food services, hospitality, security and custodial services- except for telework positions which had stable wages.  Inflation has picked up moderately over time.  Retail sales have increased over time, while consumer and business services departments’ numbers grew slightly.  Manufacturing deals continued to expand moderately; moreover, conditions in the agriculture and resource segments were generally stable.  Sources of the Federal Reserve have stated that residential real estate markets have been a strength of the economy, but there are largely unchanged conditions in the commercial branch.  The lending activity has developed modestly, but this surrounds the large usage of second round PPP loans.  Loans in real estate have also lessened as shown by a decrease in mortgage refinancing activity, due to a rise in mortgage rates.

  • April US Census Bureau Small Business Pulse:  US Census Bureau Small Business Pulse released a state-level summary on how small businesses are faring during the April 12 through April 18 time period.  The Small Business Pulse survey found that in California:

    • 31.0% of California small businesses are reporting the Pandemic had a large negative effect on them.  This is 4.2% higher than the national average of 27.8%. 

    • 43.6% of California small businesses are reporting the Pandemic had a moderate negative effect on them, and this 0.6% higher than the national average of 43.0%. 

    • 27.5% of California businesses have requested a PPP loan in round 1, this is 2.3% above the national average of 25.2%. 

    • 39.0% of California businesses have requested a PPP loan in round 2, this is 2.0% above the national average, 37.0%. 

    • 43.1% of California businesses have received a PPP loan, this is 1.8% above the national average, 41.3%. 

    • 26.8% of California businesses have requested PPP loan forgiveness, this is 1.0% higher than the national average, 25.8%. 

    • 24.6% of California businesses have received PPP loan forgiveness, this is 0.2% lower than the national average, 24.8%. 

    • 38.5% of businesses have not requested assistance during the pandemic, and this is 3.3% below the national average, 41.8%. 

    • 44.9% of businesses have not received assistance during the pandemic, and this is 1.4% below the national average, 46.3%. 

    • 20.5% of businesses will need to receive assistance in the next 6 months, and this is 3.0% higher than the national average, 17.5%.

  • April World GDP and Cumulative Per Capita Income:  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released a world-level summary called “Managing Divergent Recoveries” for how the world economy has been affected by the pandemic.  The IMF summary prevised projections for global GDP growth of 6.0% (0.5 % upgrade) in 2021 and 4.4% in 2022 (0.2%).  These upgrades in global growth for 2021 and 2022 are primarily due to upgrades for advanced economies, particularly a sizeable upgrade to the US (1.3%), where GDP is expected to grow at 6.4% in 2021.  The average annual loss in per capita GDP over 2020–24, relative to pre-pandemic forecasts, is projected to be 5.7% in low-income countries and 4.7% in emerging markets, while in advanced economies the losses are expected to be smaller at 2.3%.  Such losses are reversing gains in poverty reduction, with an additional 95 million people expected to have entered the ranks of the extreme poor in 2020 compared with pre-pandemic projections.  A high degree of uncertainty surrounds these projections, but faster progress with vaccines can uplift the forecast; while a more prolonged pandemic with virus variants that evade vaccines can lead to a sharp downgrade.

  • Great Plates Delivered:  The Great Plates Delivered program provides three meals a day to qualifying seniors.  FEMA granted a 30-day extension to allow the program to continue to June 7, 2021.  Interested restaurants and food providers are encouraged to fill out this form:   

Great Plates Delivered
Meals served as of 05/11*
Individuals Served This Week
Food Providers Contracted
Data received from Great Plates Data Portal updated on Sundays.




  • Farmworker Grant Awarded:  The California Employment Development Department (EDD) announced the awarding of $6.4 million to non-profit farmworker advocacy group La Cooperativa Campesina de California (La Cooperativa), to provide employment and training services to 962 laid-off farmworkers.  According to the announcement, grant funds will be used to provide training that mitigates employment barriers such as basic-skills deficiencies, limited prior education, English language skills deficiencies, and limited career exposure outside of the agricultural industry.  

  • EDA Funding:  The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is seeking applications from nonprofit organizations to assist economically distressed small, rural, and underserved communities in pre-development activities associated with accessing other EDA programs and services. This funding is being made available through the Research and National Technical Assistance NOFO.  Applications should be submitted by June 1, 2021 with awards being made by August 30, 2021.

  • Assistance to High Energy Cost Communities:  The Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the US Department of Agriculture announced the availability of up to $3 million in competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs.  Grant funds may be used to acquire, construct, or improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving communities where the average annual residential expenditure for home energy exceeds 275% of the national average.  Eligible projects also include on-grid and off-grid renewable energy projects and the implementation of energy efficiency and energy conservation projects for eligible communities. Projects cannot be for the primary benefit of a single household or business.  Grant funds may not be used for the preparation of the grant application, operating costs, or for the purchase of any equipment, structures, or real estate not directly associated with the provision of community energy services. The last day to apply is July 6, 2021.

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education and Workforce Program:  The Office of Naval Research, an agency within the US Department of Defense, is seeking proposals for augmenting existing and/or developing proposals that establish, build, and/or maintain STEM educational pathways relevant to the needs of Department of Navy’s current and future workforce.  The max grant that may be awarded is $600,000, and small business owners, among others, can apply until October 8, 2021.

  • Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME):  The Small Business Administration announced a new PRIME funding round.  Eligible applicants include:  non- profit microenterprise development organizations; microenterprise development programs run by state/local/tribal governments; or Indian tribes interested in providing assistance and guidance to disadvantaged microentrepreneurs.  The maximum grant award is $250,000 and the last day to apply is May 20, 2021.

  • Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes:  The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), an agency within the US Department of Justice, seeks proposals for rigorous basic or applied research and development projects. An NIJ forensic science research and development grant is designed to support a discrete, specified, circumscribed project that will increase the body of knowledge that guides and informs forensic science policy and practice, or leads to the production of useful material(s), device(s), system(s), or method(s) that have the potential for forensic application.  The maximum grant award is $9,400,000, and the last day to apply is June 10, 2021.


  • State Unemployment Benefit Data:  The Employment Development Department (EDD) released new unemployment insurance data for California during the week ending May 1, 2021.  Among other information, EDD reports the following:

    • 119,117 initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PAU) claims were filed during the report period.

    • Over 20.3 million initial unemployment benefit claims, including extensions, have been filed with EDD between March 20, 2020 and the close of the report period.

    • $128 billion has been paid to out-of-work Californians since the start of the pandemic. 

  • Tracking UI Benefits:  The California Employment Development Department (EDD) launched identity verification technology to help address the backlog of unprocessed unemployment benefit applications, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.  On April 30, 2021, EDD released its bi-weekly report to the Legislature addressing the backlog (  covering time period of March 1, 2020 through April 24, 2021.

  • New Employer Portal:  The California Labor & Workforce Development Agency launched a new Employer Portal, which is intended to serve as a one-stop hub for California employers to access state and local county COVID-19 guidance by business industry. The portal can be accessed at  “As businesses across the state continue to adapt through the pandemic, LWDA encourages employers to utilize the portal as a resource for how to operate safely and ensure compliance with state and local guidance.”

  • One-Stop-Shop for Guidelines:  The California Department of Public Health maintains a one-stop webpage for all COVID-19-related guidance: Guidelines are still available through individual department websites, including OSHA’s new regulations for COVID-19.

  • Searchable Database of Workforce Guidelines: The California Labor and Workforce Agency developed and launched a searchable employer guideline portal for COVID-19 guidelines.  This is a customizable search engine that includes state and local guidelines.  “The portal, available in English and Spanish, pulls all COVID-19 guidance and requirements from trusted state, county and city sources, including from the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. In addition, it provides information about employee benefits, paid sick leave and immediate steps to take in the event of a COVID-19 case at work. To ensure accurate information at all times, the portal will be updated with local and state guidance on an ongoing basis.”


State Small Business Disaster Loan Guarantee Program (April 30, 2021)


Conditionally Approved

Loan Amount

Guarantee Amount

Amount Encumbered




$69.4 million

$65.6 million

$ 32.8 million


The IBank provides the Joint Legislative Budget Committee an update monthly.


[This is a “quick-source” section that includes new and previously provided information.]


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