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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Obama Touts Jobs Projects

May 16, 2014 12:55 pm | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Obama and Vice President Biden are lunching outside the White House and promoting government financed work projects that he says could be endangered if Congress does not act by the end of the summer.           

Swiss Mull $24 Minimum Wage

May 16, 2014 12:25 pm | by John Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

In a nation of mostly haves and have-mores, Swiss voters head to the polls Sunday to decide on a union proposal that would create a new nationwide minimum wage at 22 Swiss francs ($24.70) an hour — the world's highest.      

Unemployment Rates Fall In Nearly All U.S. States

May 16, 2014 11:10 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Unemployment rates fell in nearly all U.S. states last month, and half the states now have rates below 6 percent. The figures are a sign of widespread, if slow, improvement in the nation's job market.          


Mich. Senate Votes To Raise Minimum Wage

May 16, 2014 10:31 am | by Emma Fidel, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Michigan Senate approved raising the state's minimum wage to $9.20 an hour from $7.40 in a compromise that some supporters hope will pre-empt a ballot drive to raise it to $10.10.             

Skills Shortage Threatens Earnings And Growth Of U.S. Manufacturers

May 15, 2014 3:57 pm | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturers may be losing up to 11 percent annually of their earnings as a result of increased production costs stemming from a shortage of skilled workers, according to a new study from Accenture and The Manufacturing Institute.  

Seattle May Lead Nation To $15 Minimum Wage

May 15, 2014 12:03 pm | by Manuel Valdes, Associated Press | News | Comments

While the Seattle mayor is proposing to raise the wage to $15 in the coming years to the highest level in the nation, some activists say that's too slow and are threatening to take the issue to voters with a ballot measure that would force a raise sooner.

Consumer Prices Rise By Most In 10 Months

May 15, 2014 11:15 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Higher food and gas costs pushed up U.S. consumer prices in April by the most in 10 months, evidence that inflation is ticking up from very low levels.                  

U.S. Factory Output Retreats In April

May 15, 2014 10:17 am | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factory output slid last month after two months of strong growth. Manufacturers produced less furniture, machinery and plastics.                            


Fewest Americans In 7 Years Seek Unemployment Benefits

May 15, 2014 9:43 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in seven years last week, a sign the job market is steadily improving.                  

Businesses Boosted Stockpiles 0.4 Percent In March

May 13, 2014 3:24 pm | News | Comments

The Commerce Department says stockpiles rose 0.4 percent after a 0.5 percent rise in February. Sales in March jumped 1 percent, the largest advance since May, after a 0.9 percent February increase.           

U.S. Retail Sales Up Slightly In April

May 13, 2014 2:12 pm | News | Comments

The Commerce Department says retail sales rose just 0.1 percent last month, after surging 1.5 percent in March following a harsh winter that had curtailed shopping.                 

U.S. Aims To Boost Small Business Exports

May 13, 2014 10:54 am | News | Comments

Seeking to boost exports, the Obama administration is launching a new initiative aimed at helping small- and medium-sized businesses sell their products in new markets overseas.            

U.S. On Track For Narrowest Budget Gap Since '08

May 12, 2014 2:18 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. government ran a big surplus in April, thanks to a flood of tax payments that helped keep the budget on track for the lowest annual deficit in six years.                


President To China: Get Used To Slower Growth

May 12, 2014 8:09 am | News | Comments

President Xi Jinping's comments come amid weakening trade and manufacturing. Economic growth slowed in the latest quarter to 7.4 percent after last year's full-year expansion of 7.7 percent tied 2012 for the weakest performance since 1999.            

House Votes To Make R&D Tax Credit Permanent

May 9, 2014 11:22 am | by Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press | News | Comments

The House voted Friday to make permanent a tax credit that rewards businesses for investing in research and development, adding $156 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade.             

Job Openings Slip In March After Strong Gain

May 9, 2014 11:08 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers advertised slightly fewer jobs and slowed hiring a bit in March, though the declines came after healthy gains the previous month. The figures suggest the job market is improving in fits and starts.        

MAPI: Public Policy Uncertainty Plays Role In Restraining Business Investment And Economic Growth

May 9, 2014 9:54 am | News | Comments

The report highlights the severe decline in inflation-adjusted business investment and the recovery’s slow pace in the 2008-2009 recession cycle and uses private nonresidential investment—equipment, structures, and intellectual property—as an example.

Applications For Unemployment Aid Fall To 319K

May 8, 2014 8:41 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 26,000 last week to 319,000, the latest sign that the job market is slowly improving.                               

Applicants, Bosses Get Blamed As Jobs Go Unfilled

May 7, 2014 11:24 am | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

It's a situation that's leading small business owners wading through piles of resumes to an unhappy conclusion: The job applicant pool is full of unskilled, unreliable slackers.                    

U.S. Productivity Falls In 1Q

May 7, 2014 10:18 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. productivity fell in the first quarter while labor costs rose, reflecting the economic slowdown caused at the start of the year by harsh winter weather.                            

Obama's Advisers Set To Spill Details On Great Recession

May 7, 2014 8:03 am | by Julie Pace, AP White House Correspondent | News | Comments

The back-to-back memoirs from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ex-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be the latest installments in what has become an often awkward Washington ritual: one-time confidants signing big book contracts to examine a presidency that is still ongoing.

Slowing Chinese Economy Likely To Pinch U.S.

May 7, 2014 7:53 am | by Paul Wiseman and Joe McDonald, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

In an interconnected global economy, bad news for one economic superpower is typically bad news for another — even a fierce rival.                                   

House GOP Budget Spares Weapons, Military Benefits

May 6, 2014 3:18 pm | by Donna Cassata, Associated Press | News | Comments

House Republicans spare aircraft, bases and personnel benefits from defense budget cuts by chipping away at money the Pentagon spends in preparing the military for war.              

White House Urges U.S. CEOs To Avoid Russian Forum

May 6, 2014 1:02 pm | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press | News | Comments

Top executives at major United States companies are reconsidering or withdrawing their participation in a Russian international economic forum after being pressed by the Obama administration to drop out amid the growing crisis in Ukraine.       

Chinese Manufacturing Shrinks For 4th Month

May 5, 2014 8:17 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing contracted in April for the fourth straight month but the pace of decline was less severe, suggesting the downturn in the world's No. 2 economy is bottoming out.             

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