CoVid-19 Industry Updates

CoVid-19 Industry Updates (190)

A new survey by the car-shopping marketplace reveals that while 88% of American travelers plan to drive over Independence Day weekend, more than three-fourths say record-high gas prices have impacted plans, with many opting to stay closer to home or bring friends along to help chip in at the pump.

Distance is the predominant sacrifice. More than half of those surveyed say they’ll be driving a shorter distance due to fuel costs, and while 62% of 2021 respondents said their goal was to get “as far from the house as possible” last Fourth of July, this year, 68% of road trippers will stay within 50 miles of home.

Continuing a Memorial Day travel trend, 45% of Fourth of July travelers will bring company along to offset the cost of gas, and the number surpasses 50% for those between 18-34 and those with a household income below $50,000.

“Road tripping for the Fourth of July is an American tradition, and understandably, gas prices are at the forefront of any road tripper’s mind right now. Pent-up demand for travel is pushing vacationers to get creative with their road-trip strategies to curb costs rather than forgo their adventures completely,” said Jenni Newman, editor-in-chief. “Every little bit helps, but one of the biggest factors is fuel efficiency, and fortunately, there are a variety of vehicle options on the market for all lifestyles that will help maximize mpg, including many that are made right here in the USA.” recently released its 2022 American-Made Index (AMI), which features 95 cars that contribute most to the U.S. economy based on criteria ranging from U.S. factory jobs and manufacturing plants to parts sourcing. The index gives shoppers information to purchase the most American-made vehicles and direct their economic impact closer to home.


The Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

Appearing in This Year’s American-Made Index Include³:



Best MPG 


Index Ranking


Version With Best MPG



Toyota Camry Hybrid (HEV)

Camry Hybrid LE



Lexus ES Hybrid (HEV)

ES 300h



Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

RAV4 Hybrid



Honda CR-V Hybrid

CR-V Hybrid



Hyundai Elantra

Elantra SE



Honda Civic

Civic EX



Toyota Sienna (HEV)

Sienna with Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)



Toyota Highlander Hybrid (HEV)

Highlander Hybrid with FWD



Toyota Corolla

Corolla Hatchback SE with CVT



Nissan Rogue

Rogue S and SV with FWD

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding a virtual public hearing on Wednesday to consider whether to allow California and other states to implement strong clean truck standards. 

The California Air Resources Board requested waivers from the EPA under the Clean Air Act to enforce recently adopted emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks, including the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) and Low NOx Heavy-Duty Omnibus regulations. Currently, six states that represent more than 20 percent of the medium- and heavy-duty truck market ­– California, Oregon, Washington, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – have adopted the ACT rule and more are considering it.

Below is a statement by Don Anair, research and deputy director of the Clean Transportation Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“These waivers are an important tool to advance cleaner transportation and protect public health. The EPA should swiftly grant them to ensure California and other states that adopt its standards can reduce heavy-duty truck pollution and improve air quality in communities living with unhealthy levels of pollution. 

“Heavy-duty vehicles are the single largest source of smog-forming nitrogen oxides in California and emit nearly 40 percent of the state’s diesel particulate matter despite making up just 7 percent of all vehicles in California. 

“States are taking the lead in zero-emission, electric truck adoption, recognizing that toxic diesel exhaust adversely affects tens of millions of people living in and around ports, warehouses and freeways—disproportionately low-income and communities of color.

“Cleaning up heavy-duty trucks that produce heat-trapping emissions is also one of the most important ways we can reduce the risks of climate change. With the Biden administration having repeatedly promised to fight climate change and promote environmental justice, fully approving these state waivers for strong heavy-duty truck rules will help advance those goals. It’s an opportunity to keep their promise that they must not let pass.”  

Two UCS senior vehicle analysts—Dave Cooke and Sam Wilson ­– will testify in support of California’s clean truck standards at the June 29 hearing.

In the week ending June 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 229,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 3,000 from 229,000 to 232,000. The 4-week moving average was 218,500, an increase of 2,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 750 from 215,000 to 215,750. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 0.9 percent for the week ending June 4, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending June 4 were in Florida (+2,098), Georgia (+2,060), Pennsylvania (+1,134), Missouri (+1,053), and Illinois (+827), while the largest decreases were in Michigan (-2,131), Mississippi (-1,723), New York (-631), Oklahoma (-598), and New Jersey (-440).

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.0 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported June 10. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 8.6 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The increase was broad-based, with the indexes for shelter, gasoline, and food being the largest contributors. After declining in April, the energy index rose 3.9 percent over the month with the gasoline index rising 4.1 percent and the other major component indexes also increasing. The food index rose 1.2 percent in May as the food at home index increased 1.4 percent.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in May, the same increase as in April. While almost all major components increased over the month, the largest contributors were the indexes for shelter, airline fares, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles. The indexes for medical care, household furnishings and operations, recreation, and apparel also increased in May. The all items index increased 8.6 percent for the 12 months ending May, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending December 1981. The all items less food and energy index rose 6.0 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index rose 34.6 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending September 2005. The food index increased 10.1percent for the 12-months ending May, the first increase of 10 percent or more since the period ending March 1981.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 390,000 in May, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.6%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported June 3. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in retail trade declined.

In May, the unemployment rate was 3.6% for the third month in a row, and the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 6.0 million. These measures are little different from their values in February 2020 (3.5% and 5.7 million, respectively), prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians declined to 2.4% in May. The jobless rates for adult men (3.4%), adult women (3.4%), teenagers (10.4%), Whites (3.2%), Blacks (6.2%), and Hispanics (4.3%) showed little or no change over the month.

Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers remained at 1.4 million in May. The number of persons on temporary layoff was little changed at 810,000. Both measures are little different from their values in February 2020.

In May, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) edged down to 1.4 million. This measure is 235,000 higher than in February 2020. The long-term unemployed accounted for 23.2% of all unemployed persons in May.

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.3%, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.1%, were little changed over the month. Both measures are 1.1% age points below their February 2020 values.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons increased by 295,000 to 4.3 million in May, reflecting an increase in the number of persons whose hours were cut due to slack work or business conditions. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons is little different from its February 2020 level. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was little changed at 5.7 million in May.

Labor productivity in the private nonfarm sector rose in 39 states and the District of Columbia in 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Output increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2021, following a year of decline for all areas. Hours worked increased in all 50 states but declined in the District of Columbia. Washington and New Hampshire experienced the highest growth in labor productivity of 6.4% and 5.2%, respectively.

  • Two states saw productivity growth over 5.0%: Washington (6.4%) and New Hampshire (5.2%).
  • Output growth exceeded 9.0% in three states: California (9.8%), Tennessee (9.8%), and New Hampshire (9.3%).
  • Nevada and Florida saw the highest growth in hours worked (9.8% and 9.1%, respectively).
  • Two states, Arkansas and Oklahoma, saw no change to labor productivity due to gains in output that matched gains in hours worked.
  • Labor productivity declined in nine states (Alaska, Wyoming, Nevada, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, and New Jersey) due to a more rapid increase in hours worked than in output.

Each state’s annual contribution to national productivity growth in 2021 is calculated by multiplying the state’s productivity growth rate by its average share of total current dollar national output. The economic size of each state influences its contribution to national and regional estimates. For 2021, California had the largest contribution to national growth. The state’s 4.2-percent growth in labor productivity in 2021 contributed nearly one third of the 2.1-percent growth of the nation.

Mitsubishi Motors North America announced a new work-from-home policy that affords flexibility to employees whose jobs can be performed from home, with no required minimum number of days in the office, a benefit more common among cutting-edge technology companies than automotive brands. This move comes as the company reports strong sales across the first quarter of 2022 and builds on its momentum as the fastest-growing, non-luxury brand in the industry.

“Our new work-from-home policy comes down to one thing: tremendous trust in our employee team,” said recently appointed MMNA CEO Mark Chaffin. “Over the last two years, our employees have risen to the challenges of a global pandemic and historic supply chain disruptions, and they’ve propelled the brand to record-breaking sales success. They’ve demonstrated they can do it all, while working from their home and company offices. That commitment should be rewarded with confidence and flexibility, and today, that’s what we’re doing.”

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 431,000 in March, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently. Notable job gains continued in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and manufacturing.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household survey measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics.

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.6 percent in March, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 318,000 to 6.0 million. These measures are little different from their values in February 2020 (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively), prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women (3.3 percent) declined in March. The jobless rates for adult men (3.4 percent), teenagers (10.0 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (6.2 percent), Asians (2.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little change over the month.

Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers decreased by 191,000 to 1.4 million in March and is little different from its February 2020 level of 1.3 million.

The number of persons on temporary layoff was little changed over the month at 787,000 and has essentially returned to its February 2020 level. The number of job leavers—that is, unemployed persons who quit or voluntarily left their previous job and began looking for new employment--fell by 176,000 to 787,000 in March.

In March, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 274,000 to 1.4 million. This measure is 307,000 higher than in February 2020. The long-term unemployed accounted for 23.9 percent of all unemployed persons in March.

The labor force participation rate, at 62.4 percent, changed little in March. The employment-population ratio increased by 0.2 percentage point to 60.1 percent. Both measures remain below their February 2020 values (63.4 percent and 61.2 percent, respectively).

The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job increased by 382,000 to 5.7 million in March, following a decrease of a similar magnitude in the prior month. This measure is above its February 2020 level of 5.0 million. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the four weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job.

Nearly half of Americans are driving less than before the COVID-19 pandemic, but don’t ask them to give up their cars, a new survey from Chase Auto found.

Customers also said they’ve changed the way they shop for cars in the last two years, but most still want the in-person experience of a dealership. 

In the two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the United States, customers have shifted how they use their vehicle and how it makes them feel.

  • 45% are driving less than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 92% say their vehicle has allowed them to reach essential destinations during the pandemic.
  • 66% feel their vehicle offered them financial freedom, opportunities, and control during the pandemic.
  • One in five use their personal vehicle to do their job, not just to get there.
  • Two in five are taking trips by car versus other modes of transportation with 80% saying that it makes them feel safer.
  • With COVID-19 restrictions beginning to lift, 53% have planned road trips for this year, especially this summer. 

While a lack of inventory, changing financial situations, and concerns of COVID-19 exposure have impacted the car buying process, two in five people surveyed have acquired a vehicle since the beginning of the pandemic. Shoppers have enjoyed the option of researching or searching inventory online, but the dealer is still an incredibly important piece to the car buying experience.

  • 77% want to visit the dealer or test drive the car
  • 57% want to talk in-person to a knowledgeable salesperson
  • 85% want to pick up their car at the dealership

Two out of three repeat car buyers said they would stay with the same brand, although the same number of people actually purchased a different one. Fifty-eight percent also changed the type of car they bought with only 4% switching to a hybrid or electric vehicle.

Peter Muriungi, CEO of Chase Auto.

“I had trouble finding inventory at the price and type of vehicle I wanted, this was the reason I changed brands” said one survey respondent who purchased a new car during the pandemic. Despite recent challenges, most think they got a fair deal and invested the expected amount of time in their purchase.

“The longtime American love of cars grew during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Peter Muriungi, CEO of Chase Auto. “Their vehicle put them in control, kept them safe, and got them to essential destinations. That’s why we’ll continue to finance purchases, no matter how and where consumers choose to buy.”

Chase Auto surveyed 1,000 people, ages 18 and over who currently own or lease a vehicle. Interviews were conducted online Feb. 16-28, 2022, and the sample was balanced to be nationally representative by age, geography and race according to latest census figures.

At a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, officials said they expect inflation to return to its 2 percent objective and the labor market to remain strong.

To hit these goals, the committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 0.25% - 0.50%, while anticipating “that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate.”

The board said the implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine are “highly uncertain,” but will likely create near-term “upward pressure on inflation.”

In addition, the Committee expects to begin reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities at a coming meeting.

“Indicators of economic activity and employment have continued to strengthen,” the board reported. “Job gains have been strong in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined substantially. Inflation remains elevated, reflecting supply and demand imbalances related to the pandemic, higher energy prices, and broader price pressures.

“In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee's goals. The Committee's assessments will take into account a wide range of information, including readings on public health, labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and financial and international developments.

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