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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

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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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...

Obama Calls For Additional Regulation, Investment In SOTU

January 23, 2015 11:23 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

President Barack Obama called on Congress to enact a slew of new requirements for workers while investing in education and infrastructure during his State of the Union address, declaring, "Middle-class economics works." "Those of us here tonight, we need to set our sights higher than just making sure...

Oil Price Drop Sparks Steel Industry Layoffs

January 23, 2015 10:07 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

U.S. Steel this week announced 545 layoffs, bringing its January job cut total to more than 1,000 as the industry reels from the decline in oil prices. The company said Thursday it would idle plants in Indiana and Illinois. The shutting down of U.S. Steel's tin mill in East Chicago, Indiana affects 369 workers, with layoffs beginning...

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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...

Unions Seek Jobs Threshold For Boeing Incentives

January 23, 2015 9:29 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Unions representing aerospace workers in Washington state are backing legislation to place conditions on industry tax credits, drawing the ire of one of the state's flagship companies. The state Legislature passed $8.7 billion in tax credits in 2013 as part of an effort to secure productionof Boeing Company's 777X jetliner...

Baker Hughes To Lay Off 7,000 Workers, Planning For Downturn

January 21, 2015 8:30 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Oil services company Baker Hughes Inc. will lay off about 7,000 workers as it prepares for a downturn in orders because of the plunge in crude prices, the company said Tuesday. The layoffs represent about an 11 percent cut to the 62,000-plus workers Baker Hughes says...

Energy Companies Announce Thousands Of Layoffs

January 20, 2015 5:08 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The continued decline in the prices of crude oil is wreaking havoc in the oilfield services sector, where three industry giants have announced thousands of job cuts in recent days. Last week, Schlumberger Ltd., the world's largest oil drilling services company, announced 9,000...

Union To Discuss IN Pillsbury Plant Set To Close

January 20, 2015 9:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The union that represents workers at a Pillsbury plant set for closure expects to meet next month with General Mills officials to discuss the southern Indiana plant's future General Mills announced last week that it plans to close its refrigerated goods plant in New Albany by mid-2016, but said its...

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Skills Gap Predictions For 2015: Rising Wages And More Training

January 16, 2015 4:53 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

The skills gap, or the documented gap between the number of manufacturing jobs available and the number of talented workers available to fill those positions, was undeniably one of the hottest topics in manufacturing in 2014. In her article “Why The Manufacturing Skills Gap Is Serious,” Anna Wells, Executive Editor of...

President Obama Pushes Paid Sick Leave

January 16, 2015 1:40 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Blogs | Comments

Ahead of his State of the Union speech next week, President Obama has announced that he will call on Congress to require companies to give workers up to seven days of paid sick leave a year. Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett announced the new initiatives in a post on the job networking...

High-Tech Talent: Why Know-How Is No Longer Enough

January 16, 2015 1:30 pm | by Tom Sons | Articles | Comments

Recently, I came across a number of stats that, for those of us in the manufacturing sector, paint a very bright picture of the foreseeable future. If, like me, you keep an eye on trends and an ear to the ground for good news, of particular interest to you might be a study conducted by the...

Obama Renews Push For Paid Leave For Working Parents

January 15, 2015 3:02 pm | by Nedra Pickler, Darlene Superville, The Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama on Thursday renewed his push for paid leave for parents and other workers, saying he's astonished that so many people don't get paid sick leave. "How can we support working families so they have the tools to succeed in this new economy?" Obama said at a Baltimore cafe that offers earned sick...

Bombardier Cutting 1,000 Jobs In Mexico And KS

January 15, 2015 10:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Bombardier says it's going to cut about 1,000 employees from its Learjet business in 2015, affecting sites in Mexico and the United States. The Montreal-based company said Thursday the cuts are due to weak demand for the Learjet 85 business jet. Bombardier will also...

Manufacturing In NY Rebounding In January As Hiring Rises

January 15, 2015 10:13 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Manufacturing activity in New York state rebounded in January, with factory owners saying they were more optimistic about future demand and hiring. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Thursday that its Empire State Manufacturing index rose to 10 this month after having...

MI Supreme Court Hears Major Right-To-Work Case

January 14, 2015 2:35 pm | by David Eggert, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Michigan's conservative Supreme Court is seeking to reconcile whether 31,000 unionized state employees are covered by a right-to-work law, hearing opposing arguments Tuesday on whether lawmakers stepped on the turf of a panel that regulates labor conditions...

Apple, Google Reach New Settlement In High-Tech Wage Case

January 14, 2015 1:45 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A revised settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit alleging Apple and Google conspired with other Silicon Valley companies to block more than 60,000 high-tech employees from getting better job offers. The terms of the new agreement weren't disclosed in a letter filed Tuesday with an...

GOP Leader Says TN Lawmakers Will Approve VW Incentives

January 14, 2015 12:52 pm | by Erik Schelzig, The Associated Press | News | Comments

A top Republican in the Tennessee General Assembly expects his colleagues to approve the state share of a $300 million incentive package for Volkswagen despite misgivings over a "secret deal" for the United Auto Workers union at the German automaker's plant in Chattanooga. House Republican leader...

Judge To Rule On Union's Lawsuit Against Maine Mill Sale

January 13, 2015 5:43 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal judge will rule next week on a union's antitrust lawsuit that seeks to block the sale of a Maine paper mill to a Canadian metal recycler. Parties appeared in court Tuesday to respond to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers' suit. The suit seeks to block the...

U.S. Job Openings Jump To 14-Year High

January 13, 2015 3:04 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The rapid hiring that made 2014 a stellar year for job gains is showing no sign of slowing down. U.S. employers advertised the most job openings in nearly 14 years in November, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That suggests businesses are determined to keep adding staff because...

Port Officials Accuse Workers Of Stifiling Productivity Amid Labor Dispute

January 13, 2015 1:57 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Officials representing West Coast ports on Monday alleged dockworkers have deliberately ground shipments at several large ports to a near-halt amid an ongoing labor dispute. The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents shipping line and terminal operators at ports along the Pacific Coast, said shipping...

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