Shale Gas Continues to Benefit Manufacturing

A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report released today found that U.S. natural gas production could bring an annual cost savings of $22.3 billion by 2030 for U.S. manufacturers and up to $34.1 billion by 2040. And in addition will create 930,000 natural gas driven manufacturing jobs by 2030, 1.41 million by 2040. The NAM and American Chemistry Council contributed to PwC’s report.

A similar study released in 2011 had projected one million manufacturing jobs would be created by 2025 due to the uptick in shale gas exploration and recovery, and could mean more than $11 billion in cost savings to manufacturers. With some of those jobs having been created in the last three years since that study, the new projections show that there will be even larger gains in shale gas driven manufacturing jobs, as well as even greater costs savings. (continue reading…)

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Holiday Sales Have Gotten Off to a Strong Start

The Census Bureau provided encouraging news about retail sales growth in November. Retail spending was 0.7 percent in November, extending the revised 0.5 percent growth seen in October. This is noteworthy because it will help to erase anxieties about holiday spending seen in prior estimates. On a year-over-year basis, retail spending has increased 5.1 percent in November, a relatively healthy pace, up from 4.5 percent in October. (continue reading…)

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No-Grow-Zone: Manufacturers Feel the Impact of Costliest Regulation Ever – Part 2

The Spread of Non-attainment: By the Numbers

If you have been following ozone policies over the last several years, you have no doubt seen some version of the “before” and “after” maps below. In fact, the ozone nonattainment maps have in many ways become the symbol of this issue. In future posts, we will dive deeper into what exactly it means for manufacturers, state and local governments and citizens to be in a nonattainment area. (continue reading…)

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NAM and Over 100 Companies and Organizations Sign Letter Highlighting the Importance of the Open Internet

Today, National Association of Manufacturers sent a letter to Director of the National Economic Council Jeffrey Zients, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman, House and Senate leadership, members of the FCC and Commerce Secretary Pritzker that focuses on the important role the open internet has played in ensuring manufacturers are able to incorporate cutting-edge technologies into their products and processes. (continue reading…)

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A Missed Opportunity to Address Class Action Abuse

In a disappointing decision, this week the U.S. Supreme Court decided it would not review the 5th Circuit’s handling of questionable claims to the BP business settlement agreement in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill case.  The issue in the case was whether BP should be required to pay awards to claimants who could not show their harms were caused by the oil spill. (continue reading…)

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Manufacturers Posted Slightly Fewer Openings in October, but Still More than Earlier in the Year

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that manufacturing job openings eased slightly, down from 293,000 in September to 290,000 in October. Nonetheless, the sector has seen improvements in the pace of job postings, with an average of 294,000 over the past six months (May through October). This represents progress since February’s rate of 258,000, the low point of 2014 so far. In October, job openings for durable good firms were up from 179,000 to 190,000; whereas, postings for nondurable goods businesses dropped from 115,000 to 100,000. (continue reading…)

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Supreme Court Decision Provides Clarity to Manufacturers

This morning the Supreme Court unanimously reinforced arguments asserted in the NAM and coalition associations’ amicus brief filed in Busk v. Integrity Staffing.  NAM’s amicus contended that the 9th Circuit should be reversed in concluding that time spent undergoing security checks is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Justice Thomas delivered the majority opinion for the Court supporting the NAM’s argument which affirmed that the Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to compensate employees for the time spent on security checks before and after the work day. (continue reading…)

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NFIB: Small Business Optimism Hit a Pre-Recessionary High in November

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that small business sentiment reached a pre-recessionary high in December. The Small Business Optimism Index rose from 96.1 in October to 98.1 in November, its highest level since February 2007. This is a significant milestone, particularly given the fact that smaller firms have struggled much longer than their larger counterparts to see progress in terms of activity and outlook. Along those lines, the index remains below 100, a level that would indicate strong growth in the sector. Still, this latest data suggests movement in the right direction. (continue reading…)

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Time to Restart Trucking Hours of Service Rules

As Congress works to wrap-up its legislative business this week, the House has an important opportunity to improve road safety and correct a very flawed trucking regulation that the Obama Administration implemented last year.

Manufacturers strongly support bipartisan language approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee to be included in the FY 2015 omnibus appropriations conference package that would require further study of the 34-hour trucking Hours of Service restart provision and provide a one-year pause of significantly burdensome requirements to determine whether changes are necessary. (continue reading…)

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No-Grow-Zone: Manufacturers Feel the Impact of Costliest Regulation Ever

It’s Back. The Most Expensive Regulation in History

I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover. With that in mind, and after careful consideration, I have requested that Administrator Jackson withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards at this time.” –President Obama, September 02, 2011

It’s been just over three years since President Obama decided the U.S. economy could not withstand the regulatory burdens and costs of a new ozone regulation. Facing reelection and a struggling economy, the President gave businesses and households a reprieve from an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation that could have been the most expensive ever issued. The reprieve ended November 26. The country’s most expensive regulation? It’s back. (continue reading…)

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