Associated Press (04/02/12)
The Institute for Supply Management reported on April 2 that
factories increased hiring and production in March, as its index
of manufacturing activity rose to 53.4 for the month. That was up
from 52.4 in February. Fifteen of 18 manufacturing industries
reported expansion, including mining, steel and other metal
production, oil and gas, autos, and furniture. Manufacturers are
already a big source of job gains, having added more than 100,000
jobs in the last three months, about one-seventh of all net
Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department said construction
spending fell 1.1% in February, after a fall of 0.8% in January.
The weak report indicates that the construction industry is still
struggling more than two and a half years after the recession
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