Tag Archives: manufacturing

Manpower: Knoxville hiring cautious in 1Q

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Job creation in metropolitan Knoxville will proceed at a cautious pace in the first quarter of 2014, according to the Manpower hiring survey released today.
Thirteen percent of Knoxville area employers surveyed said they plan to add jobs in the January through March period, while 9 percent expect to cut staff for a Net Employment Outlook of 4 percent.
Seventy-four percent of Knoxville employers said they would maintain current staffing levels.
Statewide, the outlook is a bit more optimistic as 16 percent of the employers surveyed said they would increase staffing and 7 percent said they would reduce staffing, Manpower reported.
Employment sectors offering the best job prospects in the Knoxville area in early 2014 are durable goods manufacturing , wholesale and retail trade, education and health services, leisure and hospitality and government, according to the survey
Area employers in the transportation and utilities; and professional and business services sectors plan to cut jobs in the first quarter, Manpower reported.
More than 18,000 employers across the country are surveyed for the quarterly Manpower Employment Outlook survey.
Click here for the full Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

Aluminum maker Alcoa battered by tough week

Alcoa Inc. Location Manager Ken McMillen, left, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., and Gov. Bill Haslam arrive for a groundbreaking for a $275 million expansion of the Alcoa Inc. rolling mill to produce automotive sheet aluminum on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Alcoa.  (Paul Efird/News Sentinel)

Alcoa Inc. Location Manager Ken McMillen, left, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., and Gov. Bill Haslam arrive for a groundbreaking for a $275 million expansion of the Alcoa Inc. rolling mill to produce automotive sheet aluminum on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Alcoa. (Paul Efird/News Sentinel)

The news hasn’t been good this week for aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Inc.
It’s stock price is tumbling, a Duetsche Bank analyst downgraded the stock to sell and forecasters were predicting aluminum prices would fall 12 percent or more over the next two years.
All this on the heels of Alcoa being booted last month from the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The future of Alcoa, which recently announced plans for a $275 million expansion of its Blount County manufacturing operation, will have a significant impact on the East Tennessee economy. The company is investing in a plant upgrade in a move to take advantage of rising demand for aluminum by auto makers.
Alcoa will kickoff earnings season with the release of its quarterly financial report on Tuesday.
Given recent headlines it will be interesting to see how the company performed last quarter and its outlook for the near future.
Deutsche Bank analyst Jorge Beristain told Forbes the company should spin-off its primary metals business to ease its cash-flow problems.
Click the headlines below for more details:
CNNMoney: Alcoa CEO on debt ceiling
Motley Fool: Why Alcoa doesn’t seem so shiny
Forbes: Alcoa’s $1.2 Billion Drag: Analyst Makes Case For Breakup

Tenn. economy should be ‘substantially stronger’ in 2014

Tennessee’s economy will continue modest growth this year, but should be “substantially stronger”in 2014, University of Tennessee economists said today.

On the national scene, the economy is expected to grow slowly in the coming months with a steady decline in the unemployment rate, according to the annual economic forecast prepared for the governor by UT’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

“The U.S. economy is projected to continue to grow in the quarters ahead and the unemployment rate will continue its slow but steady decline,” said Matt Murray, associate director of CBER and the report’s author. “For Tennessee, the economic outlook calls for modest growth in 2013 followed by substantially stronger growth in 2014.”

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Green Mountain, Starbucks expand partnership

 

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., which has a significant manufacturing presence and 500 employees in Knox County, has dodged a Starbucks bullet.

Green Mountain Coffee

Green Mountain Coffee

Shares of Green Mountain are up more than 7 percent in morning trading on news of an expanded partnership with Starbucks Coffee Co.

Green Mountain had seen its share price drop sharply in recent weeks after Starbucks launched its Verismo single-serve coffee system in competition with Green Mountain’s Keurig Vue single-cup machines.

 

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Business taxes a heavy burden in Tennessee

Tennessee is in the bottom half of a new study that measures the tax burden businesses would face in each of the 50 states.

The Tax Foundation study released today ranks states based on the tax liability for both mature and new businesses. Tennessee is 29th in both categories, which means it has a heavier tax burden than most of the country.

“Corporate taxes on the state level rarely treat all comers equally, leading to sometimes dramatic disparities in the cost of doing business,” Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge said in a news release. “Tax preferences and incentive deals can distort the playing field based on how long a business has been operating, whether it’s a manufacturing or retail operation or whether it’s moved from another state to set up shop.”

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Will boat show award mean more sales for Sea Ray?

Knoxville-based Sea Ray Boats got a bit of good news from New York recently. The maker of pleasure craft won the Best Boat Display award at the 2012 Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show last weekend.022509searay1.jpg.jpg

“This award is a testament to Sea Ray’s efforts to bring to life the best sales atmosphere and owner experience possible,” Rob Noyes, vice president of marketing for Sea Ray, said in a news release.

Usually I would now say something snarky about industry awards, but the Great Recession was hard on Sea Ray so I will refrain. I hope, however, that the boat show effort translates into increased sales and a better future for the company’s Knoxville area manufacturing plants.

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Car dealers rescue the economy

Among the interesting bits of news in the spring economic forecast released today by the University of Tennessee is this: Car shopping is hot.022611auto5_asb_14557.jpg

Wow. Who would have thought car dealers would rescue the economy.

Taxable sales in Tennessee will see strong growth this year and auto “sales will be a major driver with fiscal year growth of 12.6 percent. On a calendar year basis, sales are expected to advance 4.8 percent in 2011. Automobile sales, along with purchases from manufacturers, will show the largest gains over 2010.,” says the spring 2011 Tennessee Business and Economic Outlook produced by the UT Center for Business and Economic Research.

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Knoxville Economics Forum scores national audience

Attendance at today’s Knoxville Economics Forum event — a speech by Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart — was smaller than the Forum’s first event last fall, but this time the group scored a national business audience.

featured-img-2.jpgReporters from Bloomberg, Dow Jones and other national outlets filed reports on Lockhart’s speech at Club Le Conte.

The national exposure is a coup for the Forum and should help the group schedule other prominent speakers. Members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke are among those on the Forum’s wish list.

Lockhart, by the way, presented a relatively optimistic take on the economy, although he described the recovery as fragile.

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Brookings: Manufacturing isn’t dead but it needs help

Manufacturing has suffered severe job losses since 2000, but it remains critical to the economy of some states, including Tennessee, according to a think tank report released today.

The report calls on states to rethink their economic development policies and to invest in “advanced manufacturing centers” that would provide research and education services for manufacturers.

“America’s manufacturing sector must be reinvigorated in order to build a healthy economy, and the nation’s states and metropolitan areas are strongly positioned to be the vanguard for this effort,” according to a report from the Brookings Institution.

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Clinton company keeping U.S. Marines warmer

1153d41693027c0fd60e6a706700913b.jpgWhen U.S. Marines climb into new sleeping bags they will be warmer thanks to a new insulation developed by Climashield, an insulation manufacturer in Clinton.


 Climashield
said recently it has been selected to provide insulation for the “3 Season Sleeping Bag” that is both lighter and warmer than the insulation used before.

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