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The Latest COVID-19 Data

Concerns Over Omicron Could Shift Spending Away From Experiences, Retail Trade Group Says

By Staff
Friday, December 3, 2021 12:04 AM We know, unfortunately, that when the variants have had a real impact on the economy, the goods side of the economy has actually benefited from that because people change behavior away from the experience side of the economy and spend more time and more dollars engaged in the goods side of the economy.

Amid the Pandemic, a Rising Share of Older U.S. Adults Are Now Retired

By Staff
Thursday, December 2, 2021 1:36 PM As employers contend with growing numbers of younger employees quitting in the great resignation, the COVID-19 recession and gradual labor market recovery has also been accompanied by an increase in retirement among adults ages 55 and older.

As of the third quarter of 2021, 50.3 percent of U.S. adults 55 and older said they were out of the labor force due to retirement, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the most recent official labor force data. In the third quarter of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic, 48.1 percent of those adults were retired. In regard to specific age groups, in the third quarter of 2021 66.9 percent of 65- to 74-year-olds were retired, compared with 64 percent in the same quarter of 2019.

The leading edge of the Baby Boomer generation reached age 62 (the age at which workers can claim Social Security) in 2008. Between 2008 and 2019, the retired population ages 55 and older grew by about 1 million retirees per year. In the past two years, the ranks of retirees 55 and older have grown by 3.5 million. Click here to read the full story from Pew Research Center.

With Federal COVID Sick Leave Gone, Workers Feel Pressure to Show Up at Work

By Staff
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 8:06 AM Economists and public health experts alike say paid sick leave is an essential tool—like testing, masks and vaccines—in the effort to prevent COVID-19 infection and keep workplaces safe.

The National Average for Gross Revenue at ECP Locations Declined Sharply for Week of Nov. 22-28, Jobson’s Latest Practice Performance Tracker Shows

By Staff
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:27 AM NEW YORK—While the national average for gross revenue at ECP locations declined sharply last week, Nov. 22-28, due to the Thanksgiving holiday, its index level still fell right between where this optical category was at this same point in time (Week 48) during both 2019 (1 index point above) and last year (2 index points below), according to Jobson’s most recent Practice Performance Tracker. All optical categories experienced large decreases in sales last week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Retail Sales Surged This Black Friday, Though the Day's Impact Is Diluted

By Staff
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:04 AM What the pandemic did for retail was, it forced them to be better digital retailers.

Study Shows Contact Lenses Advantages With Mask Wear

By Staff
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 12:02 AM A new study establishes that contact lens wear offers an option for a better vision correction experience than spectacles when paired with face masks, and doing so likely improves adherence to mask use. Conducted by Eurolens Research at the University of Manchester, it is the first work to compare the use of any type of face mask with the two types of vision correction.

Amex 12th Annual Small Business Saturday Hits All-Time High

By Staff
Monday, November 29, 2021 1:46 PM As consumer spending continues to rebound, U.S. shoppers showed up in a big way for the small businesses in their communities during this year’s Small Business Saturday on November 27, positioning American Express’ 12th annual event to be one of the most impactful shopping days of the holiday season. The results of the American Express 2021 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey show that total reported projected spending among U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $23.3 billion.

Survey Finds Many Americans Are Worried About a Recession, While Others Think Outlook Is ‘Even’ or Improving

By Staff
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:01 PM NEW YORK—Americans’ outlook for the future is grim, though there are some indications it is leveling out or even slightly improving, according to a recent YouGov/Economist survey. Only one in four say the current economic situation is excellent (4 percent) or good (21 percent)—about the same as a previous survey this fall indicated. 

Yet, on the other hand, nearly half (46 percent) say the economy is getting worse, while 19 percent say it is getting better—a slight improvement from last week’s 48 percent to 14 percent split on these two metrics, according to the survey’s findings. Half (52 percent) don’t expect a full post-pandemic economic recovery until more than two years from now, while just 27 percent expect a recovery within about a year. The figures were a grimmer—57 percent and 22 percent—a month ago. 

Six in 10 people (62 percent) say a recession is likely in the next 12 months, including 25 percent who say a recession is very likely in that timeframe. Both fears are at higher levels than in late March 2020, during the lockdown of the pandemic’s first weeks.

The National Average for Gross Revenue at ECP Locations Decreased for Week of Nov. 15-21, Jobson’s Latest Practice Performance Tracker Shows

By Staff
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:33 AM NEW YORK—The national average for gross revenue at ECP locations decreased last week, Nov. 15-21, at a rate of -2 index points, according to Jobson’s most recent Practice Performance Tracker. That brings gross revenue to a level below where it was at this point in time (Week 47) during both 2019 (1 index point below) and last year (7 index points below). Sales decreased in all optical categories when comparing last week with the previous week (Nov. 8-14) at rates ranging from -4 index points for frame units to -1 index point for exams/refractions and contact lenses.

Americans Are Looking Forward to Holiday Travel This Winter, but Overspending and Uncertainty Could Spoil the Fun

By Staff
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:04 AM This holiday season, sweaters are nice but what people really want is a warm embrace from family or loved ones. So they’re going to take to the skies and the roads to make that happen.

Traveling This Holiday Season

By Staff
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 10:55 AM The holidays have officially arrived, and more and more Americans are thinking about travel once again. Whether you're hopping on a plane for the holidays or just thinking about a future vacation, it's essential to be prepared and know what to expect when you mix travel and COVID-19. Head over to WebMD for a rundown of what you need to know.

As Thanksgiving Approaches, U.S. Virus Cases Tick Upward Once More

By Staff
Monday, November 22, 2021 8:06 AM CHICAGO—A month ago, new coronavirus cases in the United States were ticking steadily downward and the worst of a miserable summer surge fueled by the Delta variant appeared to be over. But as Americans travel this week to meet far-flung relatives for Thanksgiving dinner, new virus cases are rising once more, especially in the Upper Midwest and Northeast.

Success of COVID Antiviral Pills Hinges on Access to Speedy and Accurate Tests

By Staff
Monday, November 22, 2021 8:05 AM Within a few weeks, perhaps before many Americans finish decorating for the holidays, the U.S. could have access to a new antiviral pill from Merck expected to alter the deadly trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic—with a second option from Pfizer to follow shortly after.

More Than 100 Million People Worldwide Have or Had Long COVID: Study

By Staff
Thursday, November 18, 2021 8:03 AM More than 40 percent of COVID-19 survivors across the world have or had long-term effects after recovering, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan.

Text-Based COVID Monitoring System Could Reduce Deaths, Relieve Emergency Departments in Winter Surge

By Staff
Thursday, November 18, 2021 8:02 AM Holiday travel season is right around the corner, but coronavirus cases have already started to climb. But a new automated texting system could relieve pressure on emergency departments and reduce mortality rates if there were an uptick in COVID-19 this winter.