News and announcements from the web that might be of interest to Vermont manufacturers and other employers.  You can look up past posts on our News & Views blog.

"The U.S. Labor Department on Wednesday said it was rescinding the Obama administration's standard for determining when companies are "joint employers" of contract and franchise workers, in the agency's first major shift in labor policy under President Donald Trump. . . ."

US Job Creation Index Returns to Record High.  Gallup 6/7
"Gallup's Job Creation Index was +37 in May, tied with the record high found in March. This marks 15 straight months of the index reaching +30 or higher. . . ."

CEOs: Do Your Employees Trust You?  Gallup 6/7
"CEO ousters for ethical violations -- such as fraud, bribery or misrepresentation -- are on the rise, according to a recent article in The Washington Post.  So are CEOs becoming more unethical or have shareholders grown less forgiving?  The Washington Post suggests a variety of reasons for the intense scrutiny of business leaders' ethics, from the 2008 financial crisis to the rise of social media. . . ."

Commerce Department to release report on manufacturing regulation early next week.  CNBC 6/6
"Senior administration officials told CNBC the Commerce Department will release its first report on "streamlining permitting and reducing regulatory burdens for domestic manufacturing" early next week. . . ."

Lawmakers hope for action on taxes despite timeline in ‘flux’.  Washington Times 6/6
"Lawmakers hope to reach “critical mass” in support for a tax overhaul by August, but still have a number of political and procedural hurdles to overcome before then, a top Senate Finance Committee staffer said Tuesday. . . ."

Confidence in Economy in May Lowest Since November 2016.  Gallup 6/6
"Though still historically high, Americans' confidence in the economy fell to a six-month low in May, largely dragged down by Democrats' worsening economic attitudes. Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged a score of +3 in May, down slightly from April (+5) but eight points below January's record monthly high (+11). . . ."

Global Growth Is Propelling U.S. Manufacturing.  Material Handling & Logistics.  6/5
"Global growth continues with encouraging signs, but geopolitical uncertainties remain a top concern, according to the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) Foundation. . . ."

World Bank says trade, manufacturing to boost 2017 global growth.  Reuters 6/5
"The World Bank on Sunday maintained its forecast that global growth will improve to 2.7 percent this year, citing a pickup in manufacturing and trade, improved market confidence and a recovery in commodity prices. . . ."

New Demand for HR Execs: Data Analytics.  Gallup 6/2
"Data analytics -- historically the domain of marketing, operations and finance departments -- is now inundating human resources. These untapped workplace insights offer essential information, but only if HR can apply the right analytics in the right way. . . ."

Why Manufacturers Should Be Mindful Of Cybersecurity.  Forbes 6/1
"Hackers can penetrate the corporate IT network of a manufacturing company, then gain access to a robot's controller software and, by exploiting a vulnerability remotely, download a tampered configuration file. As a result, instead of a straight line, the robotic arm draws one that is 2 mm off. This minuscule defect, if left unnoticed, could lead to catastrophic effects in this hypothetical example -- this line is responsible for welding the chassis of a car that, if compromised, could result in casualties and a vehicle recall. . . ."

Gallup Good Jobs Rate Rises in May.  Gallup 6/1
"The Gallup Good Jobs (GGJ) rate, the percentage of U.S. adults employed full time for an employer, rose nearly one percentage point to 45.4% in May. The GGJ rate is at its highest point so far this year, and matches where it was at this time in 2016. . . ."

Digital transformation and what it means for manufacturing.  Computer Business Review 5/31
"Digital transformation has already changed the way technology-dependent businesses function. This is not just about how they buy services but in many cases has created fundamental changes to business models and interactions with partners and suppliers. . . ."

Manufacturing Industry Critical to Economic Prosperity: Deloitte Survey.  ABL Advisor 5/31
"The vast majority of surveyed Americans believe manufacturing plays a vital role in safeguarding U.S. economic prosperity and maintaining their quality of life, according to the 2017 Manufacturing Perceptions Survey from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute. The study found more than three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans surveyed believe the U.S. should invest further in the manufacturing industry. . . ."

US Economic Confidence Index Stable at +3.  Gallup 5/30
"Americans' confidence in the economy remains slightly positive, with Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index registering +3 for the week ending May 28. The index has ranged from +2 to +4 throughout May. . . ."

The Perfect Storm For Manufacturers.  Manufacturing Building Technology 5/30
"A new year always brings new challenges, new opportunities and a time to reflect on the goals and expectations for the forthcoming months. For durable goods manufacturers in particular, there are several things brewing -- both socially and economically — that could influence 2017 and the years to come. . . ."

Addressing the Skilled-Labor Shortage Problem in Manufacturing.  IndustryWeek 5/30
"If you gather a group of manufacturers and ask them what their biggest challenge is today, you’ll likely hear them respond in unison: difficulty filling skilled-labor jobs. . . ."