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TransForce Purchases Best Drivers and Expands Further in the Southeast

PR Newswire (01/13/14)

Truck driver staffing firm TransForce Inc. has acquired Alcoa, TN-based Best Drivers. Best Drivers provides commercial truck drivers throughout the southeastern U.S.

Best’s management team has joined TransForce’s leadership team and will assume key regional management roles. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Fed’s Plosser: Weak December Jobs Data Shouldn’t Affect Taper

Wall Street Journal (01/14/14) Michael S. Derby

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser says that the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue to reduce its bond-buying stimulus program despite weak December jobs data. The data showed weak employment gains and a drop in the jobless rate driven by workers exiting the labor force.

“I believe the economy has met the criteria of significant improvement in labor market conditions for ending the program and that further increases in the balance sheet are unlikely to provide appreciable benefits for recovery,” Plosser says. He expects the unemployment rate will decline to 6.2% by the end of 2014. He attributes declines in labor force participation in part to the retirement of baby boomers, rather than a poor economy forcing people out of the labor market.

Protests Over Mississippi Plant Follow Nissan to Detroit

New York Times (01/14/14) Tamara Warren

Demonstrators from the United Automobile Workers union are using the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to protest conditions at Nissan’s Canton, MS-based plant. The Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan, comprising UAW workers and labor advocates, is complaining about the use of temporary workers at the plant, who may account for one-third of its workers.

The protestors also are highlighting what they call intimidation tactics, noting that employees were required to watch anti-union videos. Derrick Johnson, president of the Mississippi NAACP, says, “Nissan workers globally enjoy a right that American workers don’t have. American workers don’t have the right to collectively bargain.”

Small-Business Optimism Crawls Forward

NFIB Small-Business News (01/14/14)

Small-business optimism ended the year slightly up from November at 93.9, but below the previous three mid-year readings of over 94.0 and six points below the pre-recession average, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ latest index. Job creation among NFIB firms was the best since February 2006.

Owners increased employment by an average of 0.24 workers in December, the best reading since February 2006. Fourteen percent of the owners reported adding an average of 3.4 workers per firm over the past few months. Offsetting that, 10% reduced employment an average of 1.8 workers, producing the seasonally adjusted net gain of 0.24 workers per firm overall.

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