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Pandemic Policies Leave Societies Divided

Source: Pew Research Center

Over sixty percent of the publics surveyed feel their countries are more divided now than prior to the pandemic. Among 17 advanced economies, more people in the U.S. (88%) felt increased division compared to any other country, followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. Only 34% of countries surveyed feel more united this year, according to Pew Research Center.

Those with negative views of the economy are more likely to report societal division. Attitudes about COVID-related restrictions also affect the public’s sense of division: Those who believe there should have been fewer restrictions are more likely to agree that society has grown more divided. 

As economies recover this summer and vaccine distributions continue, 75% of respondents have confidence that their health care system can handle future global health emergencies, but a median of 65% continue to feel the day-to-day impact of COVID-19 a great deal.

Housing Prices Rise Among Majority of Countries

Housing prices skyrocketed in 2020 across the globe. Forty-two countries saw an increase in housing prices as interest rates remained low and commutes were cut because of the pandemic, according to research done by the International Monetary Fund

The IMF recently found that supply chain woes contributed to the rising prices of building materials and homes and led to headline inflation. The housing boom is also likely to increase wealth inequalities around the world, with many real estate developers opting to build for affluent communities

In the U.S., home sale growth is slowing as we head into the fall, but home buying is still a tall task due to continued low mortgage rates. “It’s still a very competitive market,” Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud told Marketwatch. Elsewhere, forecasts for China’s economic growth have weakened because of recent news regarding its real estate developers.

Startups Raise a Record Amount of Money in Q3 2021

Startups raise a record amount of money

Startup businesses raised a record amount of funding in the last quarter, according to the State of Venture Q3’21 Report by CB Insights Research. Globally, venture capital firms invested more than $158 billion dollars into companies, a 107% increase since Q3 2020.

While the U.S. received the most funding, accounting for a little less than half of global funding, with $72.2 billion raised, Asia is catching up. China raised $25.5 billion, growing 26% since Q2 2021, and India raised $9.9 billion, growing 195% since Q3 2020.

Health care companies lead the various sectors for the year to date, with $97 billion raised, followed by fintech companies with $91.5 billion. As the past few years have shown, health care has plenty of room to innovate. According to Roy Schoenberg, M.D., CEO of virtual health company Amwell, the health care industry will look drastically different than it does today. “Within the next 10 years, physical, digital, and automated care will ideally apply to all patients,” says Shoenberg. “The care of any one patient will eventually become a mix of all three classes,” he predicts.

Why Employees Are Leaving Their Jobs

New research from Oliver Wyman Forum sheds light on what’s behind the Great Resignation. In a survey of workers from 10 countries, the most commonly cited reason is more money. According to the survey’s authors, “wages have been stagnant for years, private pensions are almost non-existent for new hires and frozen for long-timers, and employees are increasingly footing the bill for rising health care costs.” The most common way to remedy those issues for workers, it seems, is a job change.

Fulfillment and flexibility were also key in employees’ decisions to leave. With remote work becoming the norm, workers are looking for situations that allow for work-life balance. Remote work also allows for more job opportunities and ways to feel fulfilled by day-to-day tasks.

According to the authors of the report, now is the time to act. “More than a third of the people we surveyed said they’re planning to leave within the next six months. The right salary, flexible benefits, and opportunities for growth and fulfillment could stop them.”

More People Are Living In Floodplains, Research Shows

More people are living on floodplains than ever

The proportion of the world’s population exposed to floods grew by 58–86 million between 2000 and 2015, according to new research using data from NASA. Led by Beth Tellman, a geography researcher at the University of Arizona, the study also found that 255 million people were affected at least once by major floods during the same time.

Analyzing flood events from the past 20 years, researchers found that floods caused by heavy rains and tropical storms have increased as a result of climate change as well. Marsh McLennan has also indexed which countries are most at-risk of flooding.

Recently, the U.S. government announced a renewed approach to flood insurance, introducing risk-based premiums for its National Flood Insurance Program. The program should be able to cover catastrophic losses without having to borrow funds from the U.S. Treasury as well as incentivize property owners to invest in loss reduction measures that would lower the cost of insurance, reflecting lower expected claims in the future. 

 

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