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U.S. Census Results Signal Change For House Representation; Restaurants Struggle To Find Workers; U.S. Lumber Prices Rise; Olympic Test Events Begin. Aired 4-4:10a ET
Aired April 28, 2021 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz with your 10-minute objective explanation of what`s going on in the world. Today`s show is all about
numbers. The shrinking number of restaurant workers. The crazy numbers of lumber prices but we`re going to start with this one, 331,449,281.
That`s the number of people living in the United States according to the 2020 Census. The U.S. Constitution in Article I, Section 2 says that an
enumeration, a count of America`s people should be carried out every 10 years and that this is how the number of representatives in the
U.S. House is determined.
There are 435 voting members in that chamber of Congress. The Constitution says each state gets at least one but most states have significantly more
than that. The bigger their population, the more representatives they have in the House. Because Americans commonly move around, it`s not unusual for
some states to lose House seats while others gain them and there will be changes in store for the years ahead. Here`s CNN`s Census Acting Director
Dr. Ron S. Jarmin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. RON S. JARMIN, CNN CENSUS ACTING DIRECTOR: Six states will gain seats in the House of Representatives. Texas will gain two seats and Colorado,
Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain one seat. Seven states will each lose one seat in the House, California, Illinois,
Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Political analysts say the changes benefit Republicans more than Democrats and though Democrats control the House now, the majority they
have in order to do that is a slim one. Democrats hold 218 seats. Republicans hold 212 seats. There are five vacancies. The entire House of
Representatives is up for election every two years with 2022 being the next vote.
If Americans were to vote in that election in a similar way to how they voted in the last one, it`s possible Republicans could take control of the
House based on the changes from the U.S. Census count. Of course, that won`t be the only factor. The House make-up often flips back and forth
especially in a president`s first term.
But it`s one reason why the census is significant to the U.S. government. Up next, help wanted. After coronavirus entered America, restaurants were
some of the hardest hit businesses during the mandatory shutdowns of last year. The National Restaurant Association says that as of last December,
more than 110,000 places to eat and drink had been shut down either temporarily or permanently.
In 2020, 5.5 million jobs were lost from March to April alone. Today, some of those jobs are coming back and restrictions on indoor dining are being
lifted if they haven`t been already. But many of the restaurants that survived are facing a new challenge, they can`t find workers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a war of -- of survival, a new war of survival.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Phillipe Massu (ph) never thought he`d be facing a shortage of restaurant workers in the middle of the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no staff to open for lunch at all.
YURKEVICH: Nearly 10 million Americans are out of work but Massu (ph) can`t find anyone to fill his 15 open positions from manager to dishwasher.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Normally you get at least 30, 40, 50 people, 60 people. We only had three people respond to our ads and none of them showed up.
YURKEVICH: In January, 7 percent of restaurant operators named recruitment and retention as their top challenge. By March, that number was 25 percent.
One issue, some employees have left the restaurant industry for good like John Jesnecki (ph) who quit in January after 16 years as a server and
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I intended on being a lifer.
YURKEVICH: But with unstable pay and after contracting COVID-19, he knew it was time for a career change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: COVID was very stressful. Yelling at people to put on their masks is not what I want to do everyday.
YURKEVICH: Jesnecki (ph) now works in maintenance for several high rises in downtown Denver.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a different world working nine to five as opposed to five to two.
YURKEVICH: Restaurants in Miami have been at 100 percent indoor capacity since October of last year but Carlos Gabituus (ph) says he doesn`t have
enough staff to open his dining room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Florida`s a bell weather state. We are -- we`ve been open a lot longer than many state in the United States. So, this is a --
coming to a theater near you.
YURKEVICH: And he says it`s only getting worse. He can`t fill more than 30 percent of his positions even after raising wages. He says the $300 weekly
expanded unemployment benefit is stopping people from coming back to work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People should keep the unemployment benefits if they go to work now and they commit to working until the end of the year.
YURKEVICH: The expanded unemployment benefits don`t expire until early September.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re supposed to go hire people to retain them but at the same time you`re paying unemployment which creates a conflict of
interest so to speak.
YURKEVICH: Right. So for four months, what is the plan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lose more money and do what we can to stay open.
YURKEVICH: Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck? Home builders and new home buyers probably don`t care. They just wish the animal would chuck more of
it. There`s a national shortage of lumber in the U.S. and it`s selling at its highest rate since 2006. Why?
The American business magazine Fortune says it`s supply and demand. Last year, lumber producers were temporarily shut down because of coronavirus
concerns. At the same time, people working from home decided to buy more wood for projects around the house. So lumber started disappearing from
stores like Home Depot.
Another factor, interest rates for home loans started hitting record lows last year, so people flooded the housing market because their dollar went
further. All of this resulted in very short supplies of wood while there was tremendous demand for it. So lumber prices went through the roof
hitting record highs.
That drove up the cost of building houses. It drove up the cost of buying new houses. So when will this end? Nobody knows. Some experts say prices
will start to settle this summer, others say we`ll be in 2022 before lumber prices come back down.
10 Second Trivia. Which of these events was not part of the first modern Olympics in 1896? Tennis, Fencing, Shooting, or Tug-of-War. Tug-of-War was
an Olympic event but not until the second Olympic games in 1900.
A lot of Olympic sports have been added since 1896. At that time there were 10 different games played by the 241 athletes in attendance. This time
around, 44 sports are listed for the 11,000 athletes expected.
After a year-long delay, the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games are set to kick off on July 23rd with the Paralympics following on August 24th. Fans from other
countries will not be allowed. People who bought tickets already are getting their money back. For some of the athletes, test events are now
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We`re at the Tokyo Aquatic Center, one of the venues which will be used for the Olympic and Paralympic games. With
less than three months to go before the start of the Olympics, this is one of the test events being held since the games were postponed more than a
Test events like this serve as a dress rehearsal for Olympic organizers. An opportunity to work out the kinks ahead of the games. In this case, only a
limited number of Japanese athletes are participating. Here in the (mid- zone) only 12 journalists are allowed in at any time. As a result because of COVID-19, this virtual set-up is one option being considered to allow
equal access to athletes.
When it comes to anti-virus measures, it`s clear Olympic organizers are still figuring things out. This is the media room inside the Aquatic Center
where social distancing doesn`t seem to be an option. While it hasn`t been decided, this is what the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games could look
like, empty arenas with no fans and athletes competing to the sound of music which does help mask the silence.
Despite a fourth wave of infection growing and Tokyo being placed under it`s third state of emergency order, Olympic organizers and the Japanese
government remain committed to holding the games as scheduled this summer. Blake Essig, CNN, Tokyo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Late last year in southwest Kansas, a mother took her two daughters Christmas wish lists, attached them to a balloon and let them go. They
never made it to the North Pole but one of them did float more than 500 miles away to northwest Louisiana where a deer hunter found the balloon and
the wish list.
Through the magic of social media and with the help of family and friends, the man not only returned the list he got the girls almost everything on it
and that included a puppy which he and his wife drove to deliver themselves.
It was like a visit from "Louisisanta Claus" and we bet the puppy left some gifts of his own around the house. Who would have thought that a Christmas
"craft" could have "blown" up like that. "Ballooning" into a national news story, it`s the kind of thing that`s easy to get "carried away with".
Even when there are "strings" attached and it proves that Christmas wishes are not just "full of hot air". I`m Carl Azuz. Today`s shout out takes us
to Eastern Africa where we`re thrilled to be part of your day at the International School of Kenya. That`s a wrap for CNN.