Driving the Day: 5/22/12

May 22, 2012

Need to know…

  • Promising, Yet Modest, Comeback in U.S. Manufacturing Jobs. After a 35% decline in the number of manufacturing jobs between 1998 and 2010, the tally has since risen by 489,000 to 11.9 million. Forecasts show the number of manufacturing jobs will climb 3.2% this year compared with a 1.6% increase in all jobs. Part of the success will be from a reshoring effort, particularly bringing jobs back from China and other Asian nations, where wages have surged over recent years. However, the U.S. suffers from a shortage of trained workers and higher corporate tax rates, making it difficult for some companies to bring jobs back to America.
  • NASA Takes Important Step in Turning Space Transportation Over to Private Sector. SpaceX, a private cargo rocket headed to the Space Station, blasted off early this morning carrying 1,000 pounds of cargo. The importance is technical and symbolic: if successful, it will be the first commercial, rather than government-operated, spacecraft to dock at the space station and marks an important step in NASA’s efforts to turn over basic transportation to low-Earth orbit to the private sector.  
  • European Commission Accuses Google of Antitrust Violations. Google may have abused its dominance as an Internet search engine by promoting its own businesses at the expense of competitors, the European Commission said yesterday. It warned the company to propose changes in “a matter of weeks” to its method of producing search results, or possibly face an antitrust lawsuit. If Google decides to fight, the case could fuel a fledging Federal Trade Commission investigation.
  • Tom Donohue To Congress on Transportation: You’re Doing It Wrong. Highlighting congressional attempts “to put together a compromise bill to extend transportation funding before a 90-day funding fix lapses at the end of June,” the Christian Science Monitor reports “the Chamber of Commerce’s top brass has a message for Congress on transportation: You’re doing it wrong.” … “‘Nothing happens in the states and in the communities when you’ve got a 90-day or a 120-day extension,’ Tom Donohue said. Governors and mayors ‘can’t write a contract [to build transportation infrastructure] in that amount of time, and jobs that could be had are not going to be had.’”

Worth the read…

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