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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

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...

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...

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...

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Strikes Begin At Oil Refineries; Prices Rally

February 2, 2015 12:06 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

About 3,800 workers have walked off the job at nine refineries across the country after the contract between the United Steelworkers Union and oil companies expired Sunday. The strike is the largest at refineries in more than three decades, though the workers in question represent just a fraction of the roughly 30,000 USW...

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...

Infographic: Manufacturing 2015 Outlook

January 30, 2015 4:36 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, Manufacturing Business Technnology | Articles | Comments

The experts have weighed in, and here's what we can expect to influence the manufacturing sector in 2015 and beyond, including topics like energy, employment, globalization, revenues, profitability, and more...       

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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Union: General Motors Must Decide What Happens To Oshawa Plant

January 29, 2015 2:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The union representing auto workers at General Motors' Oshawa, Ont., plant says the company must decide now what will happen to its operations there instead of waiting until after the next contract negotiations. Unifor is responding to a statement by the automaker, which said the company would not make...

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...

Leading Automotive Supplier To Expand In TN

January 29, 2015 4:22 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A leading global automotive supplier plans to build a new facility in McMinn County that's expected to create as many as 400 new jobs. Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced this week that DENSO Manufacturing will build the new...

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,...

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Federal Agency Files Record Number Of Complaints Against Mining Companies

January 28, 2015 10:17 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The federal government's mining oversight agency filed 49 complaints over worker discrimination allegations last year, more than in any year since its inception in 1978. The Mine Safety and Health Administration, which enforces safety requirements at U.S. mining and mineral processing operations, files such...

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...

Steelworkers Union Prepared For Oil Refinery Strike As Contract Talks Stall

January 27, 2015 2:05 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

With its contract set to expire in less than a week, the United Steelworkers union said it has prepared for a possible work stoppage at refineries in light of stalled talks with oil industry negotiators. "The membership of this union is more mobilized and ready for a fight in my history in this position,” said USW...

Supreme Court Rejects Ruling Awarding Lifetime Health Benefits

January 27, 2015 12:26 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a lower court ruling that awarded lifetime health care benefits to union retirees at a West Virginia chemical plant, ordering the court to reconsider the matter. The unanimous ruling from the high court represents a victory for M&G Polymers USA, which first sought to require retiree...

Education, Bias-Breaking Keys To Women's Rise In Supply Chain

January 27, 2015 9:29 am | by Mike Hockett, Associate Editor, Industrial Distribution | Articles | Comments

The labor shortage in the supply chain and manufacturing industries has been well-documented, and increasingly as that shortage continues to grow. Corrie Banks and Kleo Landucci, executives at logistics services providing companies, can’t stress enough how they’d like to see fellow females continue to enter the supply chain workforce...

Labor Dispute At Ports Could Hamper Railroads

January 26, 2015 5:21 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

A months-long contract dispute at ports along the West Coast could spill thousands of miles inland, where two rail companies are raising concerns about shipping complications. Some 20,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have stayed on the job since their contract with the Pacific...

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...

States Consider Repealing Prevailing Wage Laws

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

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...

Percentage Of Union Workers Down Slightly In 2014

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