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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Steel Industry Missing Out On Boom Cycle As Cuts Mount

January 31, 2015 8:21 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Indiana's steel industry, which many hoped would be on the upswing after the end of the Great Recession, is struggling under the weight of cheap oil, a strong dollar and low prices, leading to hundreds of layoffs in just one week and uncertainty about the future. Nearly 700 steel industry jobs...

Numbers Show Mixed Economy, Rising Consumer Confidence

January 30, 2015 12:44 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Year-end reports issued by federal officials show an improving economy, though growth remains slow and not without its hiccups. A new poll, however, says U.S. consumers are feeling better about the economy than at any point in the last decade. Both the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Commerce Department's Bureau...

Compensation Rises At Fastest Pace Since Recession

January 30, 2015 10:11 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

U.S. workers saw their pay and benefits rise at the fastest rate since 2008 last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But the increase still lagged the type of growth that usually accompanies a fully healthy economy, according to reports. The department said its measure of worker compensation -- called the employment...

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American Economy In The Fourth Quarter: A Mixed Bag

January 30, 2015 10:05 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Videos | Comments

Bloomberg News sat down with Peter Coy, Bloomberg Businessweek Economics Editor, and Susan Lyne, AOL BBG Ventures President to discuss the American economy, and to try to answer the question: is America roaring back economically? Coy reported that with an average of a quarter million jobs added per...

Fed Sees Strengthening Economy, Stays 'Patient' On Rates

January 29, 2015 2:32 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Federal Reserve's outlook for the U.S. economy is steadily brightening. Yet the Fed will be "patient" in raising interest rates from record lows. That was the dual message the central bank sent Wednesday in a statement it issued after its latest policy meeting. Why is no rate hike likely soon? The main reason, the Fed suggested in...

Industry Group: Medical Device Tax Led To Thousands Of Job Cuts

January 29, 2015 12:32 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

A recent survey conducted by a medical technology trade group blames a tax on medical devices for about 18,500 industry job cuts in the last two years. The Advanced Medical Technology Association said the tax -- which was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act to generate revenue for the law -- resulted in 4,500 job...

U.S. Jobless Claims Fall To 15-Year Low

January 29, 2015 10:09 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday the number of applications for unemployment aid fell by 43,000 last week. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, that would mean 265,000 Americans filing initial claims last week -- the lowest amount since April of 2000. Observers noted the week ending Jan. 24 included the...

Dean Foods Announces Closing Of Century-Old Sheboygan Plant

January 29, 2015 8:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

 Dean Foods says it will close its dairy plant in Sheboygan. The plant has been in operation for more than 100 years. Dean Foods says it's consolidating operations and will continue to operate its plant in De Pere. Sheboygan Press Media says about 70 jobs will be lost when the company...

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Steel Manufacturing Company Warns Of Layoffs At AL Plant

January 28, 2015 7:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A steel processing company has announced that employees in suburban Birmingham could soon be laid off. US Steel announced an adjustment in operations Monday and company spokeswoman Courtney Boone told AL.com impacted employees will informed on or after March 29. Employees at a plant in Lone Star,...

Q&A: The State Of The Engineering Services Outsourcing Market

January 28, 2015 2:28 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations | Articles | Comments

Sampath Kumar, Partner and Global Leader at ISG (Information Services Group) Engineering Services, spoke with IMPO about the important trends and growth within the Engineering Services Outsourcing Market. Kumar explains why the ESO market has been growing and some interesting new trends to watch in 2015...

Manufacturing Snapshot Of The Week: Obama's Trip To India

January 28, 2015 2:21 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | News | Comments

President Obama’s landmark trip to India this week was aimed at improving the economic relationship between India and the U.S. Here are some manufacturing-related highlights of Obama’s trip to India: Obama announced a big step toward the nuclear technology pact between the two...

Jobless Rate Moves In 2014: CO Best, LA Worst

January 27, 2015 6:22 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Colorado's unemployment rate fell by a third. Louisiana's jumped nearly a quarter. Across the country, changes in unemployment rates varied from state to state in 2014, but collectively the numbers pointed to a year of substantial improvement: Jobless rates fell in 46 states, and everyone except...

Most States Report Job Gains In December

January 27, 2015 4:42 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Strong fourth-quarter hiring numbers nationally translated to the state level as well, as 42 states reported falling unemployment rates in December. The latest state and regional estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, by contrast, showed only four states with rising unemployment...

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Survey: Car Purchases Expected To Soar In 2015

January 27, 2015 10:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Huntington Bank’s Third Annual Midwest Economic Index reveals 16 percent of consumers definitely will purchase a car in 2015. The response represents a 10 percent increase over definite intent for car purchases in 2014 and is a clear sign of optimism among consumers interviewed in...

Orders For U.S. Durable Goods Fell 3.4% In December

January 27, 2015 9:22 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods dropped sharply in December, dragged lower by a big decline in demand for commercial aircraft. Orders for durable goods fell 3.4 percent in December following a 2.1 percent decline in November, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The decline was...

The Next Global Markets For U.S. Businesses

January 26, 2015 3:01 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Videos | Comments

The U.S. economy is surging ahead while areas like China, Europe and Russia struggle economically. In order to keep the momentum going for U.S. businesses, they’ll have to look at new global markets to expand. So where are companies aiming their focus? While there’s been talk about Cuba, now that restrictions...

Falling Grain Prices Hit Farm Equipment Manufacturers

January 26, 2015 2:52 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Manufacturers of farm equipment are starting to feel the effects of falling grain prices on farmers' profit margins. Deere & Company, the Moline, Illinois-based maker of John Deere tractors, recently announced more than 800 layoffs at four Iowa facilities and 45 more at its plant in East Moline, Illinois. The company...

Report: Employers In CT Added 4.8K Jobs In December

January 26, 2015 1:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Connecticut employers added 4,800 jobs in December, helping push down the unemployment rate a notch, to 6.4 percent, the state Department of Labor announced Monday. Connecticut's employment increased by 26,700 jobs since December 2013, to nearly 1.7 million. And the unemployment rate ticked down...

Low Inflation Likely To Keep Fed 'Patient' About A Rate Hike

January 26, 2015 1:22 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Federal Reserve ended 2014 with a pledge to be "patient" in raising interest rates from record lows. The way things are going, its patience may endure for a long while. Though the U.S. economy has steadily improved, inflation has dipped further below the Fed's target rate. Chalk it up to...

Survey: Firms Optimistic On Hiring, Wages In 1Q

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

OH Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.8% In December

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

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 | News | 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...

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

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

Report: Manufacturing Wages Significantly Higher Than Comparable Workers

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

MeadWestvaco to Sell European Tobacco Carton Business

January 22, 2015 1:32 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Packaging company MeadWestvaco Corp. is selling its European-based tobacco folding carton business. The Richmond, Virginia-based company said Thursday it has signed a definitive agreement with Swedish company AR Packaging Group AB. Earlier this month, MeadWestvaco announced plans to spin off its specialty chemicals business into a separate, publicly traded company.

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