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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Hot Jobs And Hiring Trends: Q&A With Traci Fiatte

February 5, 2015 12:54 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

After a strong economic year in 2014, many are predicting steady economic growth and hiring in 2015. Randstad U.S., one of the world’s largest staffing organizations, released its study on the hottest jobs in demand for 2015. I had the chance to discuss the hot jobs in manufacturing, how aspiring workers can best fill these positions, how employers can...

U.S. Productivity Falls At 1.8% Rate In Fourth Quarter

February 5, 2015 10:09 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. worker productivity went into reverse in the final three months of the year, while labor costs increased. Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, fell at 1.8 percent rate in the fourth quarter after rising at a 3.7 percent rate in the third quarter, the Labor Department reported Thursday...

U.S. Jobless Applications Rise, But Levels Point To Job Growth

February 5, 2015 9:36 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

More people sought unemployment benefits last week, but the number of applicants remained near historic lows in a positive sign for job growth. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications rose 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 278,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell 6,500 to 292,750. That average has...

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Survey: U.S. Businesses Post Steady Job Gain In January

February 4, 2015 3:16 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. companies hired at a solid pace last month, a private survey found, the latest sign of steady improvement in the job market. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 213,000 jobs last month, a decent increase though also the smallest in four months. The figure suggests Friday's government report will also...

Report: Trade Deficit With Japan Resulted In Job Losses In Every State

February 4, 2015 3:01 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

A new report says every state saw job losses due to a growing U.S. trade deficit with Japan, and warns Congress should not approve a proposed trade agreement without protections against Japanese currency manipulation. "Currency manipulation acts as a subsidy to all Japanese exports, and a tax on U.S. exports to Japan, and all countries...

Obama Plan Would Merge 6 U.S. Trade, Development Agencies

February 4, 2015 2:21 pm | by Ronnie Greene, The Associated Press | News | Comments

A little-noticed proposal in President Barack Obama's $4 trillion budget would eliminate the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which has been the subject of an Associated Press investigation into its overseas loans, and merge it for efficiency with five other federal business and trade...

White House Budget Would Fund Additional Manufacturing Hubs

February 3, 2015 5:15 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The Obama administration's budget proposal unveiled this week calls for seven new national manufacturing innovation hubs, along with funding to build toward a national network of 45 such sites. Much of the president's budget is considered dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Congress, and GOP lawmakers who've complained about...

When Will Low U.S. Gas Prices Fuel Consumer Spending?

February 3, 2015 2:41 pm | by Bloomberg News | Videos | Comments

The U.S. is benefitting from lower gas prices at the pump, but that has not yet translated to a spending boom as consumer spending fell 0.3 percent in December. Bloomberg’s Matt Townsend and Alix Steel report on In The Loop...   

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ISM: Manufacturing Orders And Production Continue To Grow

February 3, 2015 2:22 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January for the 20th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 68th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. Manufacturing expanded in January as the PMI registered 53.5 percent, a decrease...

Report: Offshoring, Federal Policy Haven Taken Toll On U.S. Industry

February 3, 2015 2:20 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

A new report says the U.S. has the most productive advanced industrial sector in the world, but warns the country is losing ground relative to other nations. The analysis by the Brookings Institution said the sector's share of total U.S. employment and output has declined since 2000, blaming "20 years of offshoring and inconsistent federal...

More Oil Industry Layoffs Hit TX

February 3, 2015 2:02 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The rapid increase in domestic oil production in recent years helped fuel a banner year for Texas' economy in 2014. Not only did the Lone Star State lead the nation in the total number of jobs created last year, but it finished second -- behind far, far smaller North Dakota -- with a 4 percent growth rate compared...

Automakers Report GM, Toyota Leading January U.S. Sales Jumps

February 3, 2015 12:32 pm | by Dee-ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Automakers reported double-digit U.S. sales increases in January, a sign that car sales didn't spin out even with a major snowstorm hitting the Northeast. General Motors led the way with an 18 percent gain over last January. Encouraged by low gas prices, buyers snapped up GM's big SUVs like the...

U.S. Factory Orders Dropped 3.4% In December

February 3, 2015 11:29 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories dropped for a fifth consecutive month in December, while a key category that signals business investment plans fell for a fourth straight month. Factory orders declined 3.4 percent in December after a 1.7 percent drop in November, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. It was the biggest drop since...

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NAM: Punitive Budget Will Hurt The Economy

February 3, 2015 10:37 am | by Jamie Hennigan, National Association of Manufacturers | Articles | Comments

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement on President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016: “If the President is serious about helping manufacturers sustain their resurgence in the United States, this outrageous budget proposal is a bad place to...

Number Of Union Jobs Varies In Recent Right-to-Work States

February 3, 2015 10:08 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Michigan and Indiana each passed so-called "right-to-work" laws in 2012, prohibiting mandatory union membership and collection of dues as conditions of employment. But although the legislative efforts to pass the laws drew fierce protests and dire forecasts for organized labor in eachstate, the two neighbors -- each of whom...

Obama Proposes $3.99 Trillion Budget For 2016

February 3, 2015 10:02 am | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations | Videos | Comments

President Obama has unveiled his new budget proposal — all $3.99 trillion of it. According to the President, the goal of the new budget is to be “practical, not partisan” in order to provide a boost to middle class families and to improve the nation’s infrastructure. Under the President’s new proposal existing spending caps would...

How Much Does Your State Rely On Durable Goods Manufacturing?

February 2, 2015 2:33 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Manufacturing of durable goods accounted for just more than 5.5 percent of the nation's overall non-farm employment in December. But the significance of those goods -- items designed to last three years or more, such as cars, appliances and furniture -- to individual states varied widely, according to recent data from the...

Oil Demand: The Other Side Of The Equation

February 2, 2015 1:36 pm | by Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | News | Comments

A number of factors have converged to send oil prices plummeting to bargain basement levels hovering around $45 to $50 per barrel, but this decline won't last forever, according to a report from the MAPI Foundation, the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and...

U.S. Factories Grew Last Month At Slowest Pace In A Year

February 2, 2015 10:48 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

US factories expanded last month at the slowest pace in a year, as orders, production, and hiring all declined. The figures suggested manufacturing may not add much to growth in the first few months of this year. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said...

Surveys: China Manufacturing Lost Steam In January

February 1, 2015 10:24 pm | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Two reports show that Chinese manufacturing was anemic in January, adding to pressure on the government to roll out measures to boost the world's No. 2 economy. The final version of HSBC's purchasing managers' index released Monday edged up to 49.7 last month from 49.6 in December. It was the...

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...

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...

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