Friday, October 16, 2015

US industrial output falls for second month; Tata Steel UK to axe 1,200 jobs; Redefining communication for your career

1 US industrial output falls for second month (Gulf News) US industrial production fell for a second straight month in September on renewed weakness in oil and gas drilling, the latest indication that the economy lost momentum in the third quarter. Industrial output slipped 0.2 per cent after a revised 0.1 per cent dip in August, the Federal Reserve said.

Industrial production rose at an annual rate of 1.8 per cent in the third quarter. The industrial sector has been undermined by a slowing global economy and resurgent dollar, which have eroded demand for US manufactured goods. It is also being weighed down by lower energy oil prices that have undercut capital investment in the energy sector, as well as a so-called inventory correction.

The weak industrial production report added to soft trade, retail sales and employment data that have suggested a significant slowdown in growth after the economy expanded at a 3.9 per cent annual pace in the second quarter. Third-quarter growth estimates are currently below a 1.5 per cent rate. Slower growth and low inflation have diminished expectations of an interest rate hike from the Fed this year.

2 Tata Steel UK to axe 1,200 jobs (Karl West & Terry Macalister in The Guardian) Britain’s biggest steelmaker is set to deal a new blow to the industry by axing up to 1,200 jobs at a plant in Scunthorpe and at two sites in Scotland.

A widening of the crisis in the industry came as Sajid Javid, the business secretary, promised to try to help competitiveness when he oversaw an emergency national steel summit in Rotherham, West Yorkshire.

Tata Steel UK, which owns the rump of the former British Steel group, is expected to announce the Scunthorpe job losses next week. These redundancies will add to Tata’s own earlier cuts and to the recent collapse of the Redcar steelworks on Teesside. SSI UK, owned by Thailand’s Sahaviriya Steel Industries, went into liquidation earlier this month with the loss of 2,200 jobs after its owner said it could no longer sustain mounting losses.

An industry source said the latest jobs cull at Tata, which includes the Dalzell and Clydebridge sites in Scotland – would be followed by further cuts across the company’s long products division, which makes steel for the rail and construction industries.

It is thought Tata, the Indian conglomerate that also owns Jaguar Land Rover and Tetley Tea, is also preparing to cut several hundred roles in operations that serve the Scunthorpe plant, mainly at its Rotherham site. However, sources suggested that if current market conditions prevail, Tata executives may opt to wind down the Scunthorpe operation over the next few years.

The 151-year-old Scunthorpe plant has been on the endangered list ever since August, when Gary Klesch, the billionaire industrialist who owns the Klesch group of global industrial commodities, walked away from a deal to buy the lossmaking mill. Britain’s steel industry has been battered by a toxic cocktail of cheap Chinese competition, high energy costs, a strong pound and slowing demand.

3 Redefining communication for your career (Kim Thompson in San Francisco Chronicle) To keep with the pace of sharing information you are more likely to use one-way communication rather than face to face which impacts your career. There are many ways to communicate with your coworkers, such as emailing, texting, face to face conversations and instant messaging, to name a few. Some ways are more effective than others, especially with relationships that could have a direct influence on your future career goals.

The way you communicate reveals more about you than you might have imagined. For example you might have wonderful intentions of updating your boss. However, your thoughts could be running faster than your typing skills and you leave out a couple of words or misspell them creating confusion. Either way, it sends a message that you pay less attention to details.

The point is: You might not be as careless if you were talking with your boss in person. You wouldn’t finish a half of a sentence and walk away or perhaps say things unfiltered, yet that’s the message you are sending through emails.

It pays to look at what type of message you are sending, and most importantly how you send it. One way communication will never replace the power of observing non-verbal reactions and picking up on subtle cues. The cardinal rule that gets broken more than most will admit is “never send messages when you are upset or wouldn’t want the world to see”.

You need to use emails and other forms of communication, however don’t make the habit of solely relying on them. Very rarely will you be promoted without seeing or verbally talking with someone. Emailing your boss who is three steps from you is not a good form of communication; albeit could be faster, yet you aren’t building the rapport you need to move in your career.

Communication styles differ with each generation at work and everyone needs to be adaptable. From a career stand point, keep your messages clear and timely. Be sensitive to what types of messages go out and how they could be perceived. It’s a good idea to trade places with the receiver, and if the message you are conveying isn’t clear, make sure it is before you hit send.

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