June unemployment rate unchanged
According to the Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate held at 8.2%. Nonfarm payroll employment continued to edge up in June, with 80,000 jobs added.
Professional and business services added 47,000 jobs in June, while health care added 13,000 jobs and wholesale trade added 9,000 in June.
Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little or no change.
AHMA survey shows modest hiring plans
A survey of members of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) members shows about 20% are expecting to add employees over the next six months.
In a supplemental question attached to the association’s June Confidence Index survey, 19% of respondents replied yes to the question: “Does your company have plans to add employees over the next six months?”
Most respondents, 54%, replied “no,” and 27% said “not sure.”
The survey question was prefaced with the statement: “Government data on the employment situation in the country points to manufacturing as a growth sector in terms of hiring.”
The survey also found that 31% of respondents found that, with interest rates at very low levels, banking partners are willing to provide new loans. However, 19% found that they weren’t, and 50% responded “not sure or not applicable.”
The AHMA’s Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index fell in June to 304.2, down from 312.5 in May. The index was 100 in 2008.
Rooted in Germany, Gmaxx hits North American market
A new line of saw blades from German manufacturer Guhdo is armed with “electrostatically applied coating” and a “proprietary grinding process,” the company said.
The company said its electrostatically applied coating is thinner, stronger and more uniform over the body of the blade. The Gmaxx coating and grinding processes provide longer blade life and superior blade performance, according to Guhdo, and are designed for use on table saws, radial arm saws and chop / miter saws.
"Gmaxx represents real, meaningful advances in saw blade technology,” said David Kerr, group VP at Guhdo. “We wouldn’t have introduced the line unless we had product that significantly raised the bar."
Gmaxx blades are available in a variety of specifications, from 7-1/4-in. to 14-in. diameter.