Dec 4, 2020
NOVEMBER JOBS REPORT: WHAT TO WATCH
Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release the jobs report for November. Last month, it reported the economy added 638,000 jobs in October. Several recent data points suggest that the surge in virus cases is causing the economy to slow. That may or may not be reflected in the jobs report.

The payroll firm ADP releases data on payrolls before the BLS report each month. ADP’s data shows payrolls increasing more than 307,000 in November, a slightly slower rate than the 404,000 jobs gain ADP found for October.
What this means: ADP frequently undershoots the BLS number. For instance, its figure for October was under by 200,000. Hopefully this points to a stronger-than-expected jobs report for November.

Where BLS and ADP agree is that there remains a sizeable gap in employment compared to pre-pandemic levels. BLS shows a gap of over 10 million jobs. ADP shows a similarly large gap. It will take a while before we reach the levels of employment we had in February.

Jobs added: ADP found that most jobs gained in November were in services (276,000 of the 307,000 new jobs). About one-third of those jobs were in leisure and hospitality. Small businesses added 110,000 jobs, midsized added 139,000, and large employers added 58,000.

What to watch: While the number may come in above ADP’s, given the surge in virus cases and resultant reduction in economic activity, it is likely that the figure will be less than the 638,000 job gain in October. Although the end of the pandemic is in sight with vaccines coming soon, the economy remains in the grips of the virus.

—Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
ABILENE CONSIDERS CUTS AND NEW FEES TO CLOSE BUDGET GAP
Abilene City officials, looking for ways to make up budget shortfalls in 2020, are exploring both cutting expenses and launching partnerships to meet residents' needs. Abilene City Council members gave City Manager Robert Hanna the green light Thursday to pursue budget cuts in response to a loss of sales revenue from federal internet taxation laws that prevent states from collecting sales tax on internet service. In addition to that $2 million loss, the city anticipates losing an additional $1 million after COVID-19 restrictions closed the Convention Center, lowered hotel occupancies, and temporarily ended court fine collections.
Staff recommends cutting city support for the 211 helpline, a dental assistance program, the Adaptive Recreation Center, and a senior transportation program. In addition to these cuts, the proposal suggests adding a fee of $2.50 for meals provided to seniors through the senior center, and the reallocation of funds within surplus areas of the city budget to make up for the losses.
Hanna added that his office is also working on ideas that may allow United Way to continue funding the helpline, and will explore launching a partnership with a nonprofit to take over the Adaptive Recreation Center services. The city council will examine the proposals in more detail at the December 17 meeting. (Source: KACU)
CITY OF ABILENE REQUESTING BUSINESS COMMUNITY INPUT FOR COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Despite the global pandemic the City of Abilene remains committed to our continued growth and development, but we cannot do that without the input and help from our business community. In 2004, the City adopted our current Comprehensive Plan which has guided the growth and development of our community for 16 years. This plan has reached the end of its useful life and Abilene has grown outside of the current plan’s original scope.

What is a comprehensive plan? It is a planning process that determines a community’s goals and aspirations in terms of community development. It both expresses and regulates public policies on transportation, utilities, land use, recreation and housing. It allows for our community to plan development in a way that protects valued resources, protects public investments, and promotes economic development.

This is our community and the City of Abilene wants to ensure that the future of Abilene both reflects the character of its citizens and plans growth in a way that is equitable for all of its members.

We need your help. The only way we achieve a comprehensive plan that is reflective of the goals and aspirations of the citizens and business owners in Abilene, is if Abilene’s citizens and business owners provide the valuable input needed to create it.

The City of Abilene along with the consultants helping us complete the plan is hosting a virtual meeting on Wednesday, December 9, at 2:30 pm, just for the members of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. This will be your opportunity to help guide the future of Abilene’s development for the next 20 years.

To register for the meeting, please email the Chamber here. For additional details on the comprehensive plan and process, click here.

- CHERYL SAWYERS, Planning Services Manager for the City of Abilene
You don't want to miss these upcoming event for
your business.

DEC 4 MAKE YOUR WEBSITE WORK FOR YOU
In this presentation, learners will discover how to create a search friendly website that drives user action and supports their goals. Whether launching a new website or sprucing up an old one, this workshop will help. Register here.

DEC 7 YOUTUBE FOR BUSINESS
Join CARES Act Coordinator, Kenny Heaton as he reviews the benefits of using YouTube for Business! Register here.

DEC 7 GROW WITH GOOGLE WEBINAR - MAKE BETTER BUSINESS DECISIONS WITH ANALYTICS - PART 1
Learn best practices and analyze trends about how customers engage with your business online, then turn these insights into well-informed, actionable decisions. Register here.

DEC 8 FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES: NAVIGATING FRIENDS GROUP PARTNERSHIPS
Angela Reed, Community Partnerships Coordinator, Texas Historical Commission, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m. CT. This webinar will focus on auxiliary groups and nonprofits that support museums, parks, zoos, or cultural organizations. Reed will discuss how to build a strong partnership framework and why that framework is important to both the auxiliary group and the organization it supports. This webinar is for board members of nonprofits, staff who work with their supporting nonprofit, and anyone considering forming a non-profit support group. Register here.

DEC 9 MANAGING MUSEUM RISKS DURING A PANDEMIC 10 a.m. CT, Texas Association of Museums. Register here.

DEC 9 HEALTH AND SAFETY IN DISASTERS 1 p.m. CT, American Institute for Conservation. Register here.

DEC 15 CAN YOU WEATHER THE STORM? Tips on Budgeting, KPIs, and Reviewing Financial Statements, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m. CT. Register here.

DEC 18 GROW WITH GOOGLE WEBINAR - MAKE BETTER BUSINESS DECISIONS WITH ANALYTICS - PART 2
Learn best practices and analyze trends about how customers engage with your business online, then turn these insights into well-informed, actionable decisions. Register here.