Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke stayed cautious in his economic projections for 2013, though he showed a little optimism due to lower unemployment claims. Bernanke says unemployment will remain high into 2015, suggesting the Fed will keep short-term interest rates near record lows at least until then.
Ford Motor Co. will pay $750 million in separation benefits to hourly workers at a Belgian factory it plans to close next year. Ford revealed the cost in a government filing Tuesday. Ford employs 4,000 hourly workers at the Genk plant. Most approved the separation plan last week.
America's lower-income workers have posted the biggest job gains since the deep 2007-09 recession — but few are bragging. As a workforce sector, those earning $35,000 or less annually are generally pessimistic about their finances and career prospects.
Swedish wireless equipment maker Ericsson and Switzerland's STMicroelectronics say they will lay off up to 1,600 workers globally as part of a plan for splitting up their unprofitable joint venture. STMicroelectronics, one of Europe's largest chipmakers, announced in December that it wanted out of ST-Ericsson as it struggled with a downturn in global demand.
Lego is building its first factory in China as part of a plan to move production closer to Asia, its fastest growing market. The Danish maker of colorful plastic building blocks for children said it's investing at least 100 million euros ($130 million) in the new plant. Construction will start in 2014 and it will be fully operational by 2017.
A manufacturer that once worked around the clock — trying not to wake its rural neighbors with evening test track runs — barely has enough work to sustain a second shift. And things are about to get worse. "When I said some areas are dark," Alice Conner said, "I meant it."
The union for 7,400 Boeing technical workers counts ballots Monday night in the re-vote on a contract that would replace pensions with a 401(k) retirement plan. The technical unit split with engineers represented by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace in the Feb. 19 vote. The 15,500 engineers approved a new four-year contract.
Officials say a new aluminum components factory in Lafayette plans to add dozens of workers this year as it ramps up production. Work on the Chinese-owned Nanshan America Co. plant began a couple years ago and now has about 80 workers. The Journal & Courier reports that company executive David Kummer says the plant will be operating at 50 percent of its manufacturing capacity by the end of this year.
The Chamber of Commerce's lead immigration negotiator said he's hoping for a deal soon with the AFL-CIO on a new temporary worker program, but the sides are still apart on important details. The issue has emerged as perhaps the toughest obstacle to completion of comprehensive immigration legislation on Capitol Hill.
Last month Hasbro missed a golden opportunity to immortalize the importance of our country’s manufacturing sector, especially with the renaissance the sector is currently experiencing. Hasbro ran a poll to elect a new game icon to be included in all new editions of the game Monopoly, an All-American game if there ever was one.
With its long vacations, short hours and myriad workers' rights, France has a reputation for being a hard place to do business. Now add this to the mix: A law working its way through parliament would grant amnesty to workers who have ransacked their company's offices or threatened their bosses during a labor dispute.
The turnaround expert who represented Chrysler during its successful restructuring is taking on one of the toughest fiscal tasks anywhere in the country: Fixing Detroit. Kevyn Orr, hired Thursday as Detroit's emergency manager, brings expertise from his work at one of the world's largest law firms plus the threat of Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which he says favors cities like Detroit when it comes to erasing debt.
About 250 employees of a Bridgestone group company demonstrated Thursday in front of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development against the planned closure of the company's factory in Bari, southern Italy. The employees called for continued operation of the passenger car tire-making factory, which Bridgestone Corp. said will close in the first half of 2014.
Thousands of workers protested in Brussels on Thursday to demand that EU leaders gathering for a summit bring an end to austerity measures and instead focus on boosting growth and reducing unemployment. The demonstration vented frustration over years of austerity imposed by EU leaders that unions and many economists say is worsening the recession and driving ever more people into unemployment and poverty.
There are three jobs open at Rodon Group, a plastic parts manufacturer near Philadelphia. But despite the reports of a shortage of skilled workers nationwide, CEO Michael Araten isn't sweating it. Rodon, located in Hatfield, Pa., works with local community colleges to make sure prospective employees get the skills they need to work at the company.
A recent study authored by Deloitte LLP and the Manufacturing Institute says that “for years, manufacturers have reported a significant gap between the talent they need and what they can actually find.” In fact “67 percent of manufacturers reported that moderate to severe shortages of available, qualified workers exist.
French carmaker Renault SA reached a potentially groundbreaking deal with leading unions Wednesday that allows it to reduce its workforce and cut costs in exchange for keeping jobs and production in France. Renault and other European carmakers have been struggling to stay competitive globally as Europe's car market flails.
Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies are much more optimistic about their sales prospects than they were three months ago, though many remain cautious about hiring. The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that 72 percent of its members expect sales will increase in the next six months.
General Motors has begun building a new paint shop at its Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan. The automaker says in a release that construction began Tuesday on the 450,000-square-foot paint shop, which is part of a $600 million investment in the plant.
Job cuts at an airplane overhaul and maintenance plant in southeast Missouri are being blamed on federal budget cuts and reduced military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Southeast Missourian reports that Sabreliner Corp. has laid off nearly 180 workers at its Perryville facility since Nov. 28, and the most recent cuts are tied to the federal sequester.
Chinese solar panel maker Suntech Power Holdings Co. is closing its factory in Goodyear, Ariz., in part because of higher production costs. The broader solar industry has struggled in recent years due to a steep price drop for solar panels. Global demand for panels has languished in Europe and elsewhere, even as manufacturing capacity soared.
The first group of Caterpillar workers is moving in to office space at the company's new Georgia plant. The Athens Banner-Herald reports that the 850,000-square-foot facility is now home to 50 workers. They moved in to the new space less than a year after the official groundbreaking for the plant in Bogart, just west of Athens.
A Sterne Agee analyst said auto sales have been strongly tied to the unemployment rate for years, and that makes February's drop in the jobless rate to 7.7 percent good news for automakers. Michael Ward said the unemployment rate has been an indicator of vehicle demand for the past 30 years, and the trend continues to hold up now.
The automatic sequester budget cuts are expected to slash $43 billion in defense spending over the next seven months - 8 percent of the Pentagon's budget. And, as CBS News' Ben Tracy reports, that will impact thousands of small businesses that work in the defense industry.
Italy's labor minister is criticizing a decision by the Bridgestone tire company to close a plant in southern Italy as "serious and without reason." Corrado Passera protested in a letter to the Japanese company, released by the labor ministry Thursday, that the company had failed to work with authorities to find another solution.