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Despite Global Inflation, the U.S. Economic Recovery Is Among the

Building an Economy for All, American Rescue Plan, Biden Administration, +5 More
Economic uncertainty is unsettling most countries today. Major, persistent headwinds are threatening global economies, and the severity of these impacts loom. Given Russia’s war in Ukraine, the ongoing economic implications resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate-related disruptions, and central banks’ decisions to rapidly increase interest rates, another global economic downturn seems increasingly likely. Yet despite these global challenges, the U.S. economy remains strong with a tight labor market, a historically low unemployment rate, and a growing economy.

During and following the COVID-19 recession, fiscal supports, such as the American Rescue Plan of 2021, and a historic federal vaccination program helped steward the U.S. economy to an unprecedented recovery, averting a double-dip recession, higher poverty rates, and the scarring impacts of longer periods of unemployment. At President Joe Biden’s instigation, Congress has passed an industrial strategy—in the form of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act—that is helping set the economy on a path of resilience and independence. The evidence suggests that, despite.

headwinds, the United States is set up to have a stronger economic outlook than many other leading industrial nations—some of which have already seen their economies contract or fall flat.

This article highlights seven indicators—inflation, energy prices, gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment rate, long-term unemployment, the 2023 GDP forecast, and the 2023 unemployment rate forecast—that compare the state of the economic recovery in the United States and its outlook for 2023 with that of its Group of Seven (G-7) counterparts.

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States constitute the G-7—an informal gathering of some of the largest advanced economies in the world. The European Union is a nonenumerated member. Together, the G-7 accounts for nearly half of global economic activity.

In nearly every advanced economy, inflation is currently higher than historic averages, putting pressure on individuals, businesses, and the stability of economies. Simply put, the United States is far from the only country dealing with rising prices. Inflation is a problem in every single country in the G-7, but it is having the strongest impact in Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, where inflation is at or near double digits. (see Figure 1) Inflation is even higher than usual in Japan, which had experienced more than two decades of deflation.

Figure 1
While inflation arose as an issue earlier in the United States than in other G-7 nations, current inflation in every member country is primarily related to supply being insufficient to meet demand. Globally, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is putting upward.

pressure on energy and food costs; ongoing supply chain issues are creating bottlenecks for specific goods; and the aftereffects of the pandemic continue to cause rising prices. Energy costs are particularly rising in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany—unsurprising given these countries’ overdependence on Russian fuel supplies. (see Figure 2).

Figure 2
The current global inflationary crisis serves as a reminder of the pitfalls of overreliance on global supply chains and underscores the urgency of expanding domestic supply, particularly of critical goods. To respond to this need, the Biden administration’s industrial strategy will reduce consumer costs and create good new jobs through supply-side investments, ultimately building a more resilient economy.

For example, the Inflation Reduction Act includes historic investments in clean energy that will expand domestic production and help relieve supply chain bottlenecks—setting the United States on a course toward a 100 percent clean energy future. To advance this goal, many companies have announced new domestic manufacturing efforts since the law’s passage.

in August, which will also create jobs at home in the future. The CHIPS and Science Act similarly incentivizes domestic manufacturing and research and development. Specifically, by revitalizing domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity, the CHIPS and Science Act will move the United States toward supply resilience when it comes to a critical input. In combination, these efforts will help the United States better absorb economic shocks moving forward.

Although most leading economies are experiencing inflation, the U.S. economy remains strong. While the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented economic disruptions in leading economies, the U.S. economy recovered much faster than any other in the G-7; by the third quarter of 2021, the country regained all real GDP—a measure of economic activity—lost since the start of the pandemic recession. (Figure 3).

Figure 3
In contrast, some economies, such as the United Kingdom, are operating below pre-recession levels, making the prospects of another downturn—one that has already been forecast by the Bank of England—extremely concerning. The robust recovery in the United States was not a foregone conclusion, but instead the result of intentional policy choices. Strong fiscal supports passed by Congress, including the expansion of unemployment insurance and enhancements to the child tax credit, helped the United States avoid a prolonged economic downturn.

The recovery of the U.S. labor market from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic has been historic. In a little more than two years, the economy had recovered all jobs lost during the recession, and the unemployment rate remains near 50-year lows—and lower than in many G-7 countries, including neighboring Canada. (see Figure 4) In places such as the United.

Kingdom, the enactment of different labor market policies meant that during the COVID-19 recession, the unemployment rate did not spike as it did in the United States. This makes the recovery of the unemployment rate in the United States even more remarkable—

the importance of pandemic relief measures and an expanded social safety net.

Figure 4
Although labor force participation has not yet completely recovered in the United States, long-term unemployment, while unacceptably high, is much lower than in almost all other G-7 countries. (see Figure 5) This is critical, as sustained long-term unemployment can disconnect workers from the labor force, making it difficult for them to return. Ensuring that workers are able to maintain their connection to the labor force and avoid a loss of skills is essential to a successful recovery. In the United States, fiscal support from the Biden administration was critical to preventing scarring, especially by ensuring that young workers, low-wage workers, and workers of color—who particularly struggled during and following the Great Recession—experienced strong wage growth.

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Russian hackers exploit six-year-old Cisco flaw to target US government agencies

APT28, a state-sponsored hacking group operated by Russian military intelligence, is exploiting a six-year-old vulnerability in Cisco routers to deploy malware and carry out surveillance, according to the U.S. and U.K. governments.

In a joint advisory issued on Tuesday, U.S. cybersecurity agency CISA along with the FBI, the NSA and the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center detail how the Russia-backed hackers exploited Cisco router vulnerabilities throughout 2021 with the aim of targeting European organizations and U.S. government institutions. The advisory said the hackers also hacked “approximately 250 Ukrainian victims,” which the agencies did not name.

APT28, also known as Fancy Bear, is known for carrying out a range of cyberattacks, espionage and hack-and-leak information operations on behalf of the Russian government.

According to the joint advisory, the hackers exploited a remotely exploitable vulnerability patched by Cisco in 2017 to deploy a custom-built malware dubbed “Jaguar Tooth,” which is designed to infect unpatched routers.

To install the malware, the threat actors scan for internet-facing Cisco routers using a default or easy-to-guess SNMP community string.

SNMP, or Simple Network Management Protocol, allows network administrators to remotely access and configure routers in place of a username or password, but can also be misused to obtain sensitive network information.

Once installed, the malware exfiltrates information from the router and provides stealthy backdoor access to the device, the agencies said.

Matt Olney, director of threat intelligence at Cisco Talos, said in a blog post this campaign is an example of “a much broader trend of sophisticated adversaries targeting networking infrastructure to advance espionage objectives or pre-position for future destructive activity.”

“Cisco is deeply concerned by an increase in the rate of high-sophistication attacks on network infrastructure — that we have observed and have seen corroborated by numerous reports issued by various intelligence organizations — indicating state-sponsored actors are targeting routers and firewalls globally,” Olney said.

Olney added that in addition to Russia, China has also been spotted attacking network equipment in several campaigns.

Earlier this year, Mandiant reported that Chinese state-backed attackers exploited a zero-day vulnerability in Fortinet devices to carry out a series of attacks on government organizations.

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South Florida counties gear up for stinky seaweed season

Sargassum making its annual voyage to South Florida’s shorelines, threatening tourism and coastal ecosystem.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Large patches of what will become stinky shoreline seaweed, stretching from the west coast of Africa to just off the southern cost of Cuba, are making their way to South Florida and local leaders are getting ready.

Local 10 News Photojournalist Curt Calhoon recently spotted sargassum, surface floating patches of brown micro algae, off the deck of a ship cruising through the Caribbean.

Brian Barnes is one of the University of South Florida researchers tracking a bloom via satellite.

“We call it the great Atlantic sargassum belt,” Barnes said. “They range in size from a handful to a square mile.”

In the ocean, it serves as a floating nursery for a variety of marine species.

The problem happens when it comes on shore. If not cleaned up properly, it can shade out corals and sea grass and create near-shore dead zones as it decays.

“It uses up all of the oxygen in the area and you can get a dead zone,” said Barnes. “As it decays, it can fall in the weather column and straight smother those ecosystems.”

As it starts to decompose, the sargassum releases hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs.

“Some people with asthma may have some respiratory issues, but not the broader population,” said Barnes.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the county will gear up as needed.

“We have a contract in place with a company that is removing sargassum from some of the hot spots,” she said.

Researchers who have been tracking the steady annual increase in sargassum say there are a variety of factors at play regarding why the naturally occurring micro algae is blooming patches upwards of a square mile in size, from warming seas to oceans rich in nutrients like human sewage and fertilizer run-offs from the world’s rivers into the sea.

“Definitely we are on alert and making sure there should be an increase — our current cost is $3.9 million per year for the contract,” said Levine Cava. “We do have requests for support from state and federal sources, so we are gearing up to bring attention to the fact that we do need help.”

Sargassum season typically runs from May to October, the same window as sea turtle nesting season.

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South Florida counties gear up for stinky seaweed season
Sargassum making its annual voyage to South Florida’s shorelines, threatening tourism and coastal ecosystem
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MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Large patches of what will become stinky shoreline seaweed, stretching from the west coast of Africa to just off the southern cost of Cuba, are making their way to South Florida and local leaders are getting ready.

Local 10 News Photojournalist Curt Calhoon recently spotted sargassum, surface floating patches of brown micro algae, off the deck of a ship cruising through the Caribbean.

Brian Barnes is one of the University of South Florida researchers tracking a bloom via satellite.

“We call it the great Atlantic sargassum belt,” Barnes said. “They range in size from a handful to a square mile.”

In the ocean, it serves as a floating nursery for a variety of marine species.

The problem happens when it comes on shore. If not cleaned up properly, it can shade out corals and sea grass and create near-shore dead zones as it decays.

“It uses up all of the oxygen in the area and you can get a dead zone,” said Barnes. “As it decays, it can fall in the weather column and straight smother those ecosystems.”

As it starts to decompose, the sargassum releases hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs.

“Some people with asthma may have some respiratory issues, but not the broader population,” said Barnes.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the county will gear up as needed.

“We have a contract in place with a company that is removing sargassum from some of the hot spots,” she said.

Researchers who have been tracking the steady annual increase in sargassum say there are a variety of factors at play regarding why the naturally occurring micro algae is blooming patches upwards of a square mile in size, from warming seas to oceans rich in nutrients like human sewage and fertilizer run-offs from the world’s rivers into the sea.

“Definitely we are on alert and making sure there should be an increase — our current cost is $3.9 million per year for the contract,” said Levine Cava. “We do have requests for support from state and federal sources, so we are gearing up to bring attention to the fact that we do need help.”

Sargassum season typically runs from May to October, the same window as sea turtle nesting season.

“Every day, there are people looking for where nests might be, marking off those areas, making sure they are not disturbing any nests while cleaning up the sargassum,” Levine Cava said.

In Monroe County, officials said they are planning for twice-daily cleanings.

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Antisemitic incidents are at an all-time high, the ADL reports

Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. rose 36% in 2022, an annual audit by the Anti-Defamation League shows.

The report, released Thursday, tracked 3,697 incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault targeting Jewish people and communities last year. It is the third time in five years that the tally has been the highest number ever recorded since the ADL first began collecting data in 1979.

«This escalation in antisemitic incidents comes just as ADL has reported on Americans’ highest level of antisemitic attitudes in decades,» the report says, adding that public officials, famous artists and social media stars have been instrumental in normalizing longstanding antisemitic tropes.

The ADL report comes on the heels of an FBI report earlier this month, stating that hate crimes reported across the country increased nearly 12% in 2021 from 2020.

5 states account for more than half of the incidents
According to the latest ADL analysis, surges in each of the major audit categories occurred in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Antisemitic harassment increased 29%, from 1,776 to 2,298
Antisemitic vandalism increased 51%, from 853 to 1,288
Antisemitic assaults increased 26%, from 88 to 111.

New York is the state with the highest number of reported incidents: 580. California follows with 518, New Jersey with 408, Florida with 269 and Texas with 211. «Combined, these five states account for 54 % of the total incidents.

Schools and synagogues are growing targets
Another alarming finding is the number of bomb threats towards Jewish institutions, including schools and synagogues, spiking from eight to 91. It is the highest number of bomb threats since 2017.

Young children and educators in K-12 schools were victims of threats or assaults in 494 incidents. Meanwhile, 219 incidents were reported on college campuses.

People who presented as Orthodox Jews were targeted in 59 of the assault incidents nationally.

The Goyim Defense League is behind more than half of all propaganda incidents
The ADL also found activity doubled among organized white supremacist groups, which were linked to 852 incidents of distributing antisemitic propaganda.

While the study cites a number of factors contributing to the surge, the organization concluded the massive uptick in the spread of anti-Jewish propaganda was «largely due to the growth of the Goyim Defense League,» known as the GDL.

The GDL network, which has significant crossover with other white supremacist groups and movements, was responsible for at least 492 propaganda incidents in 2022, a dramatic increase from the 74 recorded in 2021.

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