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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Jobless Applications Rise, but Levels Point to Job Growth

February 5, 2015 2:47 pm | by Josh Boak, The Associated Press | News | Comments

More people sought unemployment benefits last week, but the number of applicants remained near historic lows in a positive sign for job growth.                               

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U.S. Trade Deficit Jumps 17.1 Percent to $46.6 Billion

February 5, 2015 2:38 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit in December jumped to the highest level in more than two years as exports fell and Americans bought a record amount of imports.                             

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FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal Keeps Internet Open for Businesses

February 5, 2015 2:33 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Blogs | Comments

Later this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on a proposal to reclassify the Internet as a utility and critical to the functioning of the nation, in turn, maintaining "net neutrality." So what does that all mean?   

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U.S. Head of FDA Stepping Down; Chief Scientist to Take Over

February 5, 2015 2:31 pm | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Margaret Hamburg reset the course of the embattled Food and Drug Administration, an agency that had often been seen as ineffective. After nearly six years on the job, Hamburg announced her resignation Thursday in an email to staff.     

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WA Lawmakers Pushing Electric Car Ownership

February 5, 2015 2:15 pm | by Derrick Nunnally, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Even with gas prices hovering around $2 per gallon, Washington state lawmakers are considering a raft of bills to encourage more drivers to turn to electric cars in the name of reducing pollution.               

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Hot Jobs and Hiring Trends: Q&A With Traci Fiatte

February 5, 2015 2:14 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor, Manufacturing.Net | Articles | Comments

Manufacturing.Net's Bridget Bergin had the chance to speak with Traci Fiatte, President of Randstad Staffing about the hot jobs in manufacturing, how aspiring workers can best fill these positions, how employers can best attract potential workers, and other trends in manufacturing training and hiring.

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How Oil Changed North Dakota

February 5, 2015 1:22 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

One state in America’s heartland has been experiencing fairly drastic changes as of late. In North Dakota, oil was not the only thing booming — the infrastructure of the state followed suit.                 

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U.S. Productivity Falls at 1.8% Rate in Fourth Quarter

February 5, 2015 10:46 am | by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. worker productivity went into reverse in the final three months of the year, while labor costs increased.                                        

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West Coast Port Employers: Shutdown Could Be 5 Days Away

February 5, 2015 10:40 am | by Justin Pritchard, The Associated Press | News | Comments

West Coast seaports could shut down in as soon as five days — hobbling U.S. trade with Asia — if dockworkers and their employers cannot reach a new contract.                           

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Taiwan Plane Crash Survivor Says Engine 'Did Not Feel Right'

February 5, 2015 10:35 am | by Ralph Jennings, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The exact reason for the Taiwan plane crash is still unknown, but most believe the answer lies with the engine. One survivor explained that "the engine did not feel right," and prior to the crash, the pilot told the control tower that the engine was experiening 'flameout.' 

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Miller Releases 2015 Full-Line Catalog

February 5, 2015 10:29 am | by Miller Electric Manufacturing | Product Releases | Comments

Miller Electric Mfg. Co. has released their 2015 full-line catalog that showcases “What’s New from Blue." 

White House Budget Would Boost Labor Regulators

February 5, 2015 10:07 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

President Obama's fiscal year 2016 budget proposal includes a $1.3 billion funding increase for the Labor Department — including millions to bolster the department's regulatory oversight agencies.               

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North Dakota Oil Industry Avoids Layoffs

February 5, 2015 9:59 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

Sliding oil prices have meant mass layoffs in the Texas oilfields. It appears that in second-place North Dakota, however, the burgeoning shale oil and natural gas sector will be spared mass job cuts in the short term.          

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Takata Expects Worse Red Ink Amid Global Air-Bag Woes

February 5, 2015 9:44 am | by Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Takata Corp., the Japanese seat belt and air-bag maker at the center of a defect scandal, is expecting more red ink for the fiscal year through March.                             

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Report: Navistar Contract Agreement Would Salvage Pension Plan

February 5, 2015 9:41 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

The tentative agreement between truck and engine manufacturer Navistar and members of the United Auto Workers union reportedly will continue the company's pension plan.                       

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Exposure to Common Pesticide Linked to ADHD

February 5, 2015 9:34 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

A pesticide that’s often used in and around homes across the U.S. has now been linked to an increased risk of ADHD.                                       

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What's Really Going On With Port Congestion

February 4, 2015 3:09 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor | Videos | Comments

Port congestion is reaching new levels as container ships are being forced to wait to berth at anchor off the shore of Los Angeles-Long Beach. While many are assigning the blame to slow or even nonexistent negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association, it is possible that the problems could have a different origin. 

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JM Smucker Buying Big Heart Pet Brands

February 4, 2015 2:54 pm | by Sarah Skidmore Sell, The Associated Press | News | Comments

J. M. Smucker Co. said Tuesday that it is buying pet food maker Big Heart Pet Brands in a $3.2 billion cash-and-stock deal, giving it a presence in the fast-growing $21 billion pet food industry.                

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Death Reported at Altoids and Life Savers Plant

February 4, 2015 2:45 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor | News | Comments

The Chattanooga Wrigley Manufacturing plant, the home of Altoids and Life Savers, has had a reputation for being dangerous; however it seems to have solidified it this past week when a 54-year old man died on the job, making it the second employee death at the plant within the last 16 months.

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GM 2014 Profit Falls 26 Percent to $2.8B on Recall Costs

February 4, 2015 2:44 pm | by Tom Krisher, The Associated Press | News | Comments

If it weren't for the recalls, 2014 would have been a stellar year for General Motors. Even with $2.8 billion in pretax costs to fix more than 30 million recalled vehicles and $400 million set aside for death and injury claims, GM still managed to turn a $2.8 billion profit.

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