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U.S. Feb. Durable Goods Orders Up 3.4%, Surprising Analysts

Orders for U.S.-made durable goods rose in February, rising 3.4% on weaker demand for machinery and defense goods, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. This is the first increase after six monthly declines and the biggest gain since December 2007.

Source: MarketWatch

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Senate Approves Locke as Commerce Secretary

The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to approve the nomination of former Washington state Governor Gary Locke to be U.S. commerce secretary, putting a Chinese-American in the job for the first time.

Locke, President Barack Obama's third nominee for the post, has promised to focus on "creating the jobs of the future" and enforcing U.S. laws to counter unfair foreign trade practices.

Source: Reuters

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Survey: Industrial Sector Continues To Invest

Engineering, technical and industrial professionals have seen an impact of the economic slowdown on their businesses, yet are still working on projects, and specifying and purchasing products and services, according to results of the 2009 GlobalSpec Economic Outlook Survey.

More than 3800 GlobalSpec registered users -- comprised of engineering, technical, industrial and manufacturing professionals -- completed the survey, designed to gather data and report on the 2009 North American economic outlook from the point of view of professionals working in the industrial sector.

Source: Manufacturing.Net

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PA Sen. Specter to Oppose Card Check

In a setback for organized labor, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter said Tuesday he will oppose a bill that makes it easier for workers to form unions.

Specter was the only Republican to support the Employee Free Choice Act two years ago and unions were hoping he might be the crucial 60th vote needed to overcome an expected GOP filibuster of the measure when it's taken up this summer.

Source: Washington Post

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EFCA Backers Not Interested in Alternative

An alternative offered by three of America’s largest corporations to a labor bill that would facilitate union organizing has been shunned by the legislation’s most prominent champions on Capitol Hill.

Costco, Starbucks and Whole Foods offered the alternative to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) Sunday to open up a different approach to reforming labor law. Known as the Committee for a Level Playing Field, the coalition has been met by harsh words from lawmakers in Congress. 

Source: The Hill

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