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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

U.S. Unemployment Aid Applications Fall To 297K

December 4, 2014 12:38 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits slipped below 300,000 last week, after having spiked above that level in the prior week for the first time in nearly three months. Weekly applications fell 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 297,000, the Labor Department...

Expansion Insight: Q&A With Andrew Berlin

December 4, 2014 9:43 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Chicago-based Berlin Packaging, a leading supplier of plastic, glass, and metal containers and closures, recently announced a major expansion of its operations, which includes the addition of 100 new employees in 25 cities in 2015. I recently had the chance to discuss the expansion with...

Obama Tells CEOs He Wants To Work On Wage Growth

December 3, 2014 5:05 pm | by Jim Kuhnhenn, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Citing 60-year high corporate profits, President Barack Obama told CEOs Wednesday he wants to engage them on "some tricky questions" about how to overcome stagnant wages in the face of business successes and a rising stock market. In a question and answer session...

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U.S. Issues Anti-Discrimination Rule For Employers

December 3, 2014 4:56 pm | by Tom Raum, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Labor Department on Wednesday issued a rule to protect employees of federal contractors from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The rule would carry out terms of a workplace anti-discrimination law signed by President Barack Obama...

Justices To Hear Pregnancy Discrimination Case

December 3, 2014 9:55 am | by Mark Sherman, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Supreme Court is taking up a pregnancy discrimination case with the potential to affect many American women who continue to work throughout their pregnancies. The case before the justices Wednesday involves a former driver for United Parcel Service who wanted a temporary assignment...

U.S. Companies Added 208K Jobs Last Month

December 3, 2014 9:07 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. businesses hired at a solid pace last month, according to a private survey, a signal that Friday's November jobs report from the government will likely also show strength. Payroll processer ADP said Wednesday that companies added 208,000 jobs in November, the third straight month that hiring...

U.S. CEOs Expect To Boost Hiring In Next 6 Months

December 2, 2014 1:48 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies expect sales to keep growing in the next six months and also plan to step up hiring. The Business Roundtable says 40 percent of its member CEOs expect to hire more workers, up from 34 percent in the third quarter. Nearly three-quarters...

Chicago City Council To Vote On $13 Minimum Wage

December 2, 2014 9:54 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Chicago City Council is expected to give final approval to increasing the city's minimum wage to $13 by 2019. The council is scheduled to meet Tuesday morning. A council committee advanced the plan Monday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the special meeting amid fears...

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U.S. Adds To List Of Items From Child, Forced Labor

December 1, 2014 6:40 pm | by Tom Raum, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Labor Department on Monday expanded its list of products worldwide it says were likely produced by child or forced labor, ranging from garments from Bangladesh and electronics from Malaysia to cotton and sugar cane from India. The full list now includes 136 goods fro...

NLRB Rules Mercedes Violated Labor Laws At AL Plant

December 1, 2014 12:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The National Labor Relations Board has upheld a ruling that Mercedes violated federal labor laws by stopping United Auto Workers union supporters from handing out literature inside its Alabama plant. The ruling by the three-member board panel requires ordered Mercedes to update its...

Japanese Firm To Build Light-Rail Cars In LA

November 26, 2014 12:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Japanese firm says it will go ahead with plans to open a light-rail manufacturing facility in Los Angeles County, a month after threatening to pull out when talks with organized labor groups stalled. The county Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Tuesday that Kinkisharyo...

Obama Immigration Move Disappoints Some Business Leaders

November 26, 2014 10:07 am | by Erica Werner, The Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration left out some of the business community's top priorities, disappointing business leaders who might have stepped up to defend his policies in the face of Republican attacks. Months of lobbying by high-tech businesses failed to...

Germany To Require 30% Women In Top Boardrooms

November 26, 2014 9:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Germany's leading companies will need to have at least 30 percent women on their supervisory boards from 2016, according to a new directive being adopted by the government, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday. The leaders of Germany's Social Democrats...

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Applications For U.S. Jobless Aid Jump To 313K

November 26, 2014 9:43 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits jumped last week, pushing total applications above 300,000 for the first time in nearly three months. Weekly applications rose 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 313,000, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That's the highest level since the...

Food Manufacturer Expands In Chicago Suburbs

November 26, 2014 4:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A California-based fresh food manufacturer is expanding in the Chicago suburbs. Gov. Pat Quinn's office announced in a news release on Tuesday that Fuji Food Products Inc. is opening a $2.5 million food processing and distribution facility in South Elgin that is expected to create 110 jobs. ...

Strike Paralyzes Antwerp Port

November 25, 2014 5:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Trade unions have opened a month of intermittent strike action by paralyzing the port of Antwerp and slowing train traffic through much of Belgium. Monday's protest action targeted measures by the nation's business-friendly government to cut into employees' income, extend working time and...

MAPI Foundation Economic Forecast: Jobs, Replacement Demand Highlight Growth

November 25, 2014 5:12 pm | by Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | News | Comments

Strong growth in jobs plus replacement demand for equipment from businesses will provide a stable base for overall economic growth, according to a new report. The MAPI Foundation, the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, released its quarterly economic...

Meat Processor Settles Over Unpaid Wages

November 24, 2014 12:01 pm | by Roxana Hegeman, The Associated Press | News | Comments

An apparent settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuit against National Beef brought by workers at its Liberal, Kansas, meatpacking plant, according to a court filing Friday. A joint motion seeks court approval of the proposed deal affecting some 480 production employees...

Oct Jobless Rate In NC Drops To 6.3%

November 24, 2014 9:47 am | by Emery P. Dalesio, The Associated Press | News | Comments

North Carolina's unemployment rate in October dropped to 6.3 percent, down from 6.7 percent in September, the state Commerce Department reported Friday. The state's 4.2 million nonfarm jobs in October outstripped the number of positions that existed when the country's Great Recession began...

Syngenta Eliminates 1.8K Jobs

November 24, 2014 4:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Agrochemicals giant Syngenta says it is eliminating or reshuffling 1,800 jobs globally as part of a $1 billion cost-cutting program to boost earnings. The Basel, Switzerland-based manufacturer, which is one of the world's largest suppliers of seeds and crop chemicals and has more than 28,000...

Unemployment Rates Fall In Two-Thirds Of U.S. States

November 21, 2014 12:09 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Unemployment rates fell in 34 U.S. states in October, a sign that steady hiring this year has been broadly dispersed through most of the country. The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates rose in just 5 states, the fewest since April. Rates were unchanged in 11 states. Steady...

Economists Predict Continued MI Job Growth

November 21, 2014 11:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Michigan's economy will continue to improve over the next two years after five years of steady job growth, University of Michigan economists said Friday in an annual forecast. In their November outlook, George Fulton, Joan Crary and Donald Grimes predicted that the state will add a total of more...

MN Unemployment Rate Continues To Fall

November 21, 2014 10:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Minnesota's unemployment fell to an eight-year low in October, dropping to less than 4 percent, and the state has added nearly 50,000 jobs so far this year, according to state employment data released Thursday. Marking a steady trend in the state, seasonally adjusted employment figures show that 3.9 percent...

NAM CEO: Congress Must Take Action On Immigration Reform

November 21, 2014 9:22 am | by Jamie Hennigan, National Association of Manufacturers | News | Comments

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement following President Obama’s announcement of executive action on immigration: “Today’s announcement further underscores that congressional action is critically needed on immigration...

NY City Council Eyes New Zoning To Boost Manufacturing

November 19, 2014 11:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

New York City lawmakers are envisioning new zoning districts to encourage growth of manufacturing, technology and design companies, according to a report released Wednesday. It calls for adjusting zoning rules to help make sure there's space for such companies to start, stay and grow in the city....

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