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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

With No Jobs Report, What's An Economist To Do?

October 4, 2013 1:05 pm | by Paul Wiseman, Scott Mayerowitz, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

The latest victims of the government's partial shutdown: policy wonks, politicians and TV talking heads who are losing their monthly opportunity to dissect the jobs report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It happens the first Friday of the month at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. Except this Friday.

UTX May Furlough 5K Workers Due To Shutdown

October 3, 2013 2:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

United Technologies Corp. says it may furlough more than 5,000 workers if the U.S. government shutdown continues into next month. The company said Wednesday that its Sikorsky division, which makes Black Hawk helicopters, would be hit first. It expects nearly 2,000 employees, including those employed at facilities in Connecticut, Florida and Alabama, will be furloughed on Monday.

German Company To Build Plant In KY

October 3, 2013 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Germany-based automotive supplier is planning to build a new production plant in Kentucky. The $120 million facility will be called Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel and will employ 90 workers. The company says it is building the 150,000-square-foot facility to better serve its North American auto industry customers.

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Employers Add Fewer Jobs

October 3, 2013 2:11 pm | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

Amid the Washington shut down that furloughed nearly a million government workers, the private sector isn't doing much better. U.S. companies added just 166,000 jobs last month, which is fewer than economists had expected. Analysts say the softer numbers have renewed worries on Wall Street.

Berkshire Community College Kicks Off Manufacturing Month

October 2, 2013 5:33 pm | by Berkshire Community College | News | Comments

Berkshire Community College (BCC) today unveiled a new state-of-the-art lab containing advanced manufacturing equipment housed at Taconic High School (THS) that will provide both BCC and high school students with the advanced technical skills needed to succeed in the new manufacturing workplace.

U.S. Companies Add 166,000 Jobs In September

October 2, 2013 2:23 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. businesses added just 166,000 jobs in September, only slightly more than the previous two months. The lack of improvement in hiring, along with the threat of a prolonged government shutdown, could help persuade the Federal Reserve to delay scaling back its stimulus.

GE To Lay Off Up To 200 Workers In NY

October 2, 2013 2:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Electric says it plans to lay off up to 200 salaried employees at its Schenectady-based Power & Water Division by the end of this year. Local media report that GE officials say the Fairfield, Conn.-based company is eliminating the white-collar positions to remain competitive. Officials wouldn't divulge the exact number of employees to be laid off.

Coroplast To Put First U.S. Plant In SC

October 2, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Coroplast Tape Corp. is planning to put its first U.S. production plant in South Carolina, creating 150 jobs. The German company announced Wednesday plans to invest $12 million in a York County Spec Building off Interstate 77. The facility will make a range of adhesive and insulating tapes for the automotive industry.

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Hyundai To Defer Payments For Federal Workers

October 2, 2013 10:10 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hyundai is offering to defer new-car payments for 800,000 workers who have been furloughed due to the partial U.S. government shutdown. The company says workers who buy or lease cars this month won't have to make payments until January. Those who already own a Hyundai financed through the company won't have to make payments until they go back to work.

U.S. Manufacturing Expands At Best Pace In 2½ Years

October 2, 2013 10:08 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

US factory activity expanded last month at the fastest pace in 2 ½ years, an encouraging sign that manufacturing could lift economic growth and hiring in the coming months. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday that its manufacturing index rose in September to 56.2, the highest since April 2011.

U.S. Businesses Worry About A Prolonged Shutdown

October 2, 2013 10:06 am | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, Scott Mayerowitz, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

As the government's partial shutdown enters a second day, most companies across the country are doing business as usual. Yet concern is rising that a prolonged shutdown would cause some work at private companies to dry up and consumers to lose faith in the U.S. economy.

Supply Chain Strategies And The Future Of American Manufacturing

October 2, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

China’s overwhelming manufacturing cost advantage over the U.S. is shrinking fast. Within three years, a Boston Consulting Group analysis concludes that rising Chinese wages, higher U.S. productivity, a weaker dollar, and other factors will virtually close the cost gap between the U.S. and China for many goods consumed in North America. 

New Report: U.S. Trade Deficit With China Costing $37B In Lost Wages Annually

October 1, 2013 3:30 pm | News | Comments

A new study by the Economic Policy Institute finds that a growing trade deficit with China has cost the U.S. billions of dollars in lost wages. In 2011 alone, unbalanced trade with the People’s Republic resulted in lost U.S. wages of $37.0 billion. The EPI study cites 2.7 million U.S. jobs lost between 2001 and 2011 due to the trade gap with China, and over 2.1 million of those jobs were in the manufacturing sector. 

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American Crystal Sugar To Default On USDA Loan

October 1, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

American Crystal Sugar will default on a government loan of $71.2 million under a program that provides relief when a glut of sugar on the market depresses prices. David Berg, the company's president and CEO, said that forfeiting the sugar put up as collateral was the best option, given the very low prices that sugar is fetching.

Government Shutdown Begins

October 1, 2013 10:18 am | by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press | News | Comments

Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a protracted dispute over President Barack Obama's signature health care law reached a boiling point, forcing some 800,000 federal workers off the job. Obama readied a midday statement to the nation as Democrats and Republicans maintained a blame-each-other duel on Capitol Hill.

Merck To Cut 8,500 More Jobs

October 1, 2013 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The drugmaker Merck said Tuesday that it plans to cut another 8,500 jobs as part of a plan to reduce its annual costs by about $2.5 billion by the end of 2015. In addition, Merck will move its headquarters from Whitehouse Station, N.J., to existing facilities in Kenilworth, N.J.

Eurozone Unemployment 'May Have Peaked'

October 1, 2013 10:10 am | by Pan Pylas, Associated Press | News | Comments

The eurozone's labor market appears to have stabilized, official figures indicated Tuesday, another sign that the eurozone economy is recovering from its longest-ever recession. Though Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said the unemployment rate across the 17-member eurozone held steady at 12 percent in August, it found the number of people out of work fell for the third month running.

The Truth About Reshoring, Productivity, And Today’s Manufacturer

October 1, 2013 8:00 am | by Jim Shepherd , Plex Systems | Articles | Comments

Virtually all analysts agree that, yes, many American manufacturers have been successful in bringing some previously lost business back home. But it’s happening at a slower pace than the industry had hoped. According to Henry Moser, the founder of the national Reshoring Initiative, the actual rate of reshoring is somewhere between a trickle and torrent.  

A New Cry In France: 'Let Us Work Sundays!'

September 30, 2013 2:24 pm | by Jamey Keaten, Associated Press | News | Comments

Under French law, Sunday is a mandatory day off to help ensure rest and the quality of life, although some retailers in tourist areas or special commercial zones can get exemptions. Critics say the protections go too far, crimping modern lifestyles and putting France at a competitive disadvantage.

Global Study: World Not Ready For Aging Population

September 30, 2013 2:17 pm | by Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press | News | Comments

The world is aging so fast that most countries are not prepared to support their swelling numbers of elderly people, according to a global study going out Tuesday by the United Nations and an elder rights group. The report ranks the social and economic well-being of elders in 91 countries, with Sweden coming out on top and Afghanistan at the bottom.

Shutdown And Debt Ceiling Loom Large

September 30, 2013 1:49 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The sequester and forced budget cuts have been squeezing budgets and sending home federal workers all year. Now, October is a key month as the federal government has been unable to pass a budget or raise the debt ceiling. The consequences of failing to do either could be damaging to the economy. 

Workmanship Blamed For 2011 Tear In 737's Roof

September 30, 2013 10:32 am | by Gene Johnson, Associated Press | News | Comments

A National Transportation Safety Board report blames shoddy workmanship for an in-flight tear in the roof of a Southwest Airlines plane in 2011. The Boeing 737-300 was en route from Phoenix to Sacramento, Calif., on April 1, 2011, when a 5-foot-long gash opened in the fuselage.

Union Approves Contract Extension At Oshkosh Corp.

September 30, 2013 10:30 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Union workers at Oshkosh Corp. have given the company what it says it needs to make a competitive bid on a military contract worth billions of dollars. United Auto Workers Local 578 voted Sunday to extend the contract five years after it expires in 2016. The extension protects more than 2,500 jobs at the Fox Valley's largest manufacturer.

Old Dutch Plant In Montreal Set To Close

September 27, 2013 2:03 pm | by Old Dutch, potato, chips, Montreal, Canada, plant, close, jobs | News | Comments

A 49-year-old potato chip plant built by Humpty Dumpty and now owned by Old Dutch was set to close Friday — affecting 216 workers in the Montreal area. Its U.S.-based company announced in May the plant had "reached the end of its economic life" and would close after Old Dutch failed to get a $20-million to $25-million subsidy from the Quebec government to renovate the plant.

OH Plant Making New Cherokee Brings Workers Back

September 27, 2013 10:10 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler is bringing back about 500 idled workers faster than expected after temporary layoffs from a northwest Ohio plant that produces the new Jeep Cherokee. Transmission reprogramming and extra test-driving delayed shipment of the vehicles, and inventory from the Toledo facility had accumulated, so some second-shift workers were idled earlier this week.

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