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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Japan Logs Record Trade Deficit In 2014

January 26, 2015 10:32 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press | Comments

Japan's trade deficit ballooned to a record 12.8 trillion yen ($109 billion) last year as a weakening yen pushed the cost of imports higher despite a moderate recovery in exports. Preliminary data from the Finance Ministry released Monday showed Japan's exports rose 4.8 percent to 73.1 trillion...

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States Consider Repealing Prevailing Wage Laws

January 26, 2015 10:29 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Amid strong Republican gains in statehouses nationwide in recent years, debates over "right-to-work" legislation have generally been the most prominent union-related issues. Union-heavy states Indiana and Michigan enacted such laws, which prohibit requirements that workers join a union as a condition of...

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Senator Puts Forward Five Amendments To Keystone XL Legislation

January 26, 2015 10:03 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Comments

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat from North Dakota and longtime supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline, has proposed five new amendments to the legislation to approve the construction of the pipeline. She believes the Keystone XL Pipeline is a critical piece of the U.S. energy infrastructure, and...

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Survey: Firms Optimistic On Hiring, Wages In 1Q

January 26, 2015 8:23 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Rising sales helped boost hiring at U.S. businesses in the last three months of 2014, and companies are optimistic that continued improvement in business conditions will bring increased employment and wages in the current quarter, a new survey shows. And many businesses expect the steep drop in...

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Unmanned Drones Could Play Key Role In Food Supply

January 26, 2015 3:21 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press | Comments

Herding cattle. Counting fish. Taking an animal's temperature. Applying pesticides. When it comes to drones, "your imagination can go pretty wild in terms of what would be possible," says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. This month, the Federal Aviation Administration...

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1 Year After Explosion, Biofuels Plant Has Permits To Reopen

January 25, 2015 7:22 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A year after an explosion ripped apart the JNS Biofuel plant, the rebuilt plant in New Albany has all the permits it needs to reopen. However, state and local officials don't know when that will happen. TJN Biofuel LLC's president and owner, Steve Bolin, has not given official notice yet. The...

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Elon Musk's SpaceX Drops Lawsuit Against Air Force

January 24, 2015 12:22 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A spacecraft company run by billionaire Elon Musk has dropped a lawsuit alleging the U.S. Air Force improperly awarded a contract to launch military satellites to a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Musk's SpaceX filed the lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in April after...

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Landfill Could Be One Of The Last To Tap Methane For Power

January 23, 2015 12:52 pm | by Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press | Comments

When most Californians think about the source of renewable energy flowing into their homes, they picture wind turbines and solar panels — not garbage. The little-known source of electricity has fed California's power grid for decades, but a groundbreaking Thursday for yet another trash-driven power...

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Percentage Of Union Workers Down Slightly In 2014

January 23, 2015 12:44 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

The percentage of workers belonging to unions in 2014 declined slightly from the previous year, according to new federal estimates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest Current Population Survey -- which sampled 60,000 households -- found 11.1 percent of wage and salary workers were members of...

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OH Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.8% In December

January 23, 2015 12:22 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Ohio's unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent last month, its lowest since September 2001 and the fourth consecutive monthly decrease. The state's Department of Job and Family Services said Friday that Ohio had 278,000 unemployed workers in December. That's down 9,000 compared with November,...

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CA Cities Among Top Unemployment Rates; Upper Midwestern Cities Among The Lowest

January 23, 2015 11:55 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

The desert Southwest, the Jersey Shore and California's central valley account for the highest urban unemployment rates in the nation, according to data compiled by Forbes. The lowest unemployment rates, in contrast, primarily lie in northern college towns and in cities in close proximity to the country's shale...

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Goodyear Recalls SUV Tires Due To Tread Cracks

January 23, 2015 11:28 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Goodyear is recalling about 48,500 SUV tires after finding small cracks in the tread during endurance testing. The move has forced General Motors Co. to stop selling about 6,300 Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave models until the tires are replaced. The recall covers 18-inch...

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Gauge Of U.S. Economy Increases 0.5% In December

January 23, 2015 11:28 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | Comments

An index designed to predict the future health of the U.S. economy posted a fourth straight solid gain in December. The Conference Board said Friday that its index of leading indicators increased 0.5 percent in December after a revised gain of 0.4 percent in November. The index also posted solid...

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NASA Spacecraft Almost To Pluto

January 23, 2015 11:25 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | Comments

It's showtime for Pluto. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is nearing the end of its nine-year voyage to Pluto, with just over 100 million miles to go before reaching there this July. In the meantime — starting Sunday — it will begin photographing the mysterious, unexplored, icy world once deemed a...

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Obama Calls For Additional Regulation, Investment In SOTU

January 23, 2015 11:23 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

President Barack Obama called on Congress to enact a slew of new requirements for workers while investing in education and infrastructure during his State of the Union address, declaring, "Middle-class economics works." "Those of us here tonight, we need to set our sights higher than just making sure...

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Past, Future Effects Of Oil Argued In BP Penalty Trial

January 23, 2015 11:18 am | by Kevin McGill, The Associated Press | Comments

Environmental researchers and BP attorneys sparred Wednesday over the potential effects of the 2010 Gulf oil spill in a trial aimed at determining whether the oil giant should be made to pay some $13.7 billion in Clean Water Act penalties. A government witness, Dr. Stanley Rice, a retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

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Industry Group Issues Record Number Of Metalworking Credentials

January 23, 2015 10:22 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills issued a record number of credentials last year to individuals seeking to join or advance in the precision manufacturing industry. The Virginia-based group, which sets metalworking skills standards, issues certifications and accredits training programs...

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Siemens Touts Order For 21 Wind Turbines For KS Project

January 23, 2015 10:20 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Siemens says it has received an order to supply 21 wind turbines to the Alexander wind project located 120 miles northwest of Wichita. The Hutchinson-based company announced Thursday in a news release that it has reached a deal with NJR Clean Energy Ventures, a subsidiary of New Jersey...

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Oil Price Drop Sparks Steel Industry Layoffs

January 23, 2015 10:07 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

U.S. Steel this week announced 545 layoffs, bringing its January job cut total to more than 1,000 as the industry reels from the decline in oil prices. The company said Thursday it would idle plants in Indiana and Illinois. The shutting down of U.S. Steel's tin mill in East Chicago, Indiana affects 369 workers, with layoffs beginning...

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Report: Manufacturing Wages Significantly Higher Than Comparable Workers

January 23, 2015 9:40 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

The average manufacturing worker made nearly 11 percent more than a comparable worker outside the manufacturing sector in 2012 and 2013, according to a newly released report. In the analysis from D.C.-based liberal think tank the Economic Policy Institute, author Robert E. Scott tabs the wage premium for manufacturing jobs...

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