The nation's union membership rate held steady last year. There were gains among private sector workers' unions but they were largely offset by losses in state and local government.
The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators rose 0.1 percent last month. That's down from a 1 percent gain in November, the month after a partial 16-day shutdown of the federal government.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits ticked up 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, a level consistent with steady job gains. The Labor Department says the four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell for the third straight week to 331,500.
Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 64.9, the highest confidence level in two years, and an increase from the December index of 55.8. An improved general outlook for economic activity among industry leadership contributed to the increase.
Small business owners may be looking to the next SBA administrator for help making their companies stronger, but the role reaches into job creation and the health of the broader economy. More than 99 percent of the 27 million companies in the U.S. are small businesses. They employ about half the nation's workforce.
ABB said its fourth-quarter 2013 results were adversely impacted mainly by charges for storm-related project delays and some operational issues in the Power Systems (PS) division. Additional restructuring-related charges were taken in response to the division’s soft order intake in 2013. The company also booked non-operational charges related to certain Group legacy issues.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors says it expects a boost in economic growth in most metropolitan areas in 2014. That's an improvement from last year, when about one-third of the nation's cities saw an economic decline. Scott Smith, the mayor of Mesa, Ariz., and the group's president, says mayors are encouraged that Congress approved a budget agreement this month.
Angel Gurria, the secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said Wednesday that "everybody's going to try to recover the jobs they lost, the welfare well-being they lost, the exports they lost and they are going to recover it in the shortest period of time."
Accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which conducted the survey, said the world's corporate leaders are "gradually switching from survival mode to growth mode." That could lead to more investment, growth and jobs.
Connecticut's U.S. senators are visiting Sikorsky's headquarters in Stratford to highlight how local defense contractors will benefit from spending in a recently approved federal budget. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy will be joined by U.S. Rep. Rose DeLauro on the visit Tuesday to the helicopter division of United Technologies Corp.
In an updated outlook, the global lending organization forecasts that the world economy will grow 3.7 percent in 2014 and that the U.S. economy will grow 2.8 percent. The global forecast is 0.1 percentage point higher and the U.S. forecast 0.2 point higher than in the IMF's October forecast.
The European Union says it is suspending a part of the free trade negotiations with the United States to hold a three months-long public consultation amid worries about the deal's proposed rules for investment. EU trade chief Karel De Gucht said Tuesday "some people in Europe have genuine concerns" about the planned investment agreement and the EU therefore seeks their input.
Companies in France pay the highest payroll taxes in Europe. A promised $41 billion payroll tax cut is a centerpiece of Hollande's new bid to keep the economy from sliding back into recession and bring down nearly 11 percent unemployment.
The United Nations' labor agency says the number of unemployed people around the world rose above 200 million last year as job opportunities failed to grow at the same pace as the global workforce. The International Labor Organization said Monday that an estimated 201.8 million people were unemployed in 2013. That's 4.9 million more than the previous year.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says the U.S. is primed to bring back jobs lost in the recession or to overseas competitors. But he says to make that happen, the U.S. must act to create good-paying jobs and increase economic opportunity.
Check out some of this week's top headlines from across Manufacturing.net, from ghost guns to Boeing's botched batteries. In other news, Wal-Mart was accused of labor violations, and Congress settled on a $1.1 trillion budget bill.
U.S. employers advertised more jobs in November and more Americans quit, positive signs for millions who are unemployed and looking for work. The Labor Department says job openings rose 1.8 percent to 4 million, the most in 5 ½ years. And the number of people quitting increased 1.9 percent to 2.4 million, a five-year high.
The December 2013 composite index improved to 67 from 66 in the September survey—the fourth straight quarterly advance and the highest level since the September 2011 reading of 67. For 17 quarters, the index has remained above the threshold of 50, the dividing line separating contraction and expansion.
U.S. factory output rose for a fifth straight month in December, as manufacturers cranked out more cars and trucks, appliances and processed food. The gains suggest factories gave economic growth a strong boost at the end of the year.The Federal Reserve said Friday that factory production rose 0.4 percent in December.
Congress sent President Barack Obama a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill Thursday, easing the harshest effects of last year's automatic budget cuts after tea party critics chastened by October's partial shutdown mounted only a faint protest.
The vice president says "just like the automobile industry came back, Detroit is going to come back." He met Wednesday for dinner with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. The city is undergoing the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy, four years after General Motors and Chrysler emerged from their own restructurings.
In his final public appearance as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke took a moment to reflect on the 2008 financial crisis and compared it to a very bad car crash.During an interview at the Brookings Institute, he recalls some "very intense periods" during the crisis, similar to trying to keep a car from going over a bridge after a collision.
U.S. consumer prices rose last month by the most since June, driven up by higher gas prices, but excluding energy, inflation was tame. The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in December, after a flat reading the previous month.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 2,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, a sign that layoffs are weighing less on employment and economic growth. The Labor Department says the less volatile four-week average dropped 13,500 to 335,000.
The Fed says nine of its 12 banking districts described growth as moderate, up from seven in last month's report. Two of those districts said growth had accelerated since the previous report. Only two districts -- Boston and Philadelphia -- said growth was modest, while Kansas City said it "held steady."