- SPECIAL REPORTS
WASHINGTON—U.S. worker productivity grew a modest 0.5 percent rate from January through March after having declined in the previous quarter. Weak productivity growth could boost hiring if consumers and businesses spend more.
WASHINGTON—Claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to further modest improvement in the job market. Approximately 334,0000 people filed for their first week of jobless benefits last week, 12,000 fewer than a week earlier, the Department of Labor said. It was the lowest level since early May, and slightly better than the 345,000 claims economists had expected.
MILWAUKEE—U.S. employers reported a boost in confidence as the percent of employers planning to add staff, 22 percent, has reached a four-year high, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.
WASHINGTON—For 2013 as a whole, manufacturing production should increase 3.1 percent from 2012, according to the Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. Manufacturing is predicted to grow 3.6 percent in 2014, 0.8 percentage points faster than the overall economy.
DAYTON, OH—In a new documentary, Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey, film-maker Josh Miller sets out on a journey in which he attempts to live off of only U.S.-made products for 30 straight days.
MONTGOMERY, AL—Alabama gained 2,411 manufacturing jobs between April 2012 and April 2013, an increase of approximately 1 percent. The state is now home to 5,476 manufacturing companies employing 301,956 workers.
WASHINGTON—President Obama has issued a pair of executive orders that aim to help U.S. manufacturers. The first will create three manufacturing institutes using $200 million from the budgets of five agencies. The second requires that government data be made available to the public—and to entrepreneurs—in manageable formats that could be more easily used by researchers and businesses to jump-start new products and services.
BUFFALO, NY—The Western New York Economic Development Council has endorsed a plan to create a workforce training center here that will help teach local workers the skills needed in today’s more-advanced factory work.
CHICAGO—Seventy-two percent of CFOs at small and midsized manufacturers are moderately or highly optimistic about their companies’ financial prospects in the next 12 months, according to Prime Advantage, a buying consortium.
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC—Boeing will invest more than $1 billion to expand operations and create 2,000 new jobs at its assembly plant here.
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