Gains in manufacturing, which makes up about 12 percent of the economy, have been supported by rising demand for durable goods such as automobiles, appliances and machinery. Faster improvement in the labor market will be needed to generate more wage growth and boost consumer purchases, which will in turn create more orders for factories.
The plant’s closing follows sluggish sales for the high-end Moto X smartphone, which hampered Motorola’s ability to reach economies of scale, the company said. Costs for shipping parts and labor are lower at overseas operations. The manufacturer has more recently rolled out lower-cost handsets that target consumers in emerging markets.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power passed the discussion draft of the Promoting New Manufacturing Act on a bipartisan 14-8 vote. The bill seeks to improve the process of preconstruction air quality permits in the U.S. by addressing the need for expediting the process and providing greater transparency of the approval timeline by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Workers at the Arrow International plant in Asheboro have been told manufacturing operations will close there in three years, resulting in the layoff of over 600 people.
Cowles’ move from its Massachusetts headquarters to town will bring in about 200 jobs. About 100 jobs will be moved from New Haven and 60 jobs from Massachusetts.
A Chinese plastics manufacturer will bring 75 new jobs to the Greater Lehigh Valley when it opens its first manufacturing plant in America in Upper Macungie Township. The company makes plastic cutlery, cups, plates, straws and other tableware items.