As COVID-19 cases surge across the nation and the world, many companies are going back to enforcing mask mandates for their workers. In the latest sign that the pandemic is not lessening, large corporations are attempting to keep more regulations from occurring by enforcing mandatory masks for their workers. While many companies have decided to do this in just the last week, the most notable corporations include McDonald’s, Walmart, and Target.
Many companies have also decided to require their workers to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. These companies include United Airlines Inc, Centene Corp, Microsoft Corp, and Tyson Foods Inc, as well as many others.
Corporations have also decided to ask customers to wear masks while entering their stores or workplaces, even if they are vaccinated. Perhaps the most notable of these are Mcdonald’s and Disney (Disneyland and Disney World).
This return to mask regulations comes amid surges in COVID-19 infections nationwide. The Delta variant of the virus, which is said to be more contagious than the other forms, has caused infections to surge in many parts of the United States. As a result, many companies and businesses are struggling to accurately deal with these new cases.
While nobody truly wants regulations and restrictions to return, businesses realize that they’ll do better if masks or vaccinations are required for their employees (and, for some, their customers). Economists for the past few weeks have stressed that they don’t believe the economy will shut down as it did in 2020, when the pandemic was first underway and forced many businesses to shutter. However, as virus infections surge, many are worried about how this could affect the economy.
Businesses, however, do have the luxury of understanding what is to come. Last year, everyone was facing the pandemic for the first time, and companies were struggling to do business with many laws and regulations in place. This time, companies are the first to reenforce certain regulations, and governmental laws have largely stayed out of in (in most areas).
With this surge in infections, however, the labor market does still seem to be recovering. While the economy surged ahead earlier this year as regulations and laws first went away, the labor market struggled as people continued to be laid off, and as people didn’t return to the workforce. Now, however, it does look like more people are returning to work, and fewer people are being laid off.
The latest weekly jobless claim numbers reveal the first set of data we’re able to analyze since the Delta variant started affecting our society and economy. For the most part, it doesn’t appear as if the Delta variant has yet really affected the labor market. As long as this continues — and these mandatory mask rules may help, as it can help stop virus spread — then the labor market should continue to move in the right direction.
Analysts are still cautious about the future, though many feel positive that 2021 will end much more optimistically than 2020 did, even with pandemic regulations put back in place.