News & Commentary

July 27, 2017

Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics supplier for Apple and other tech giants, said yesterday that it would build its first major American factory in Wisconsin.  For building the factory, which would produce flat-panel display screens for televisions and other consumer electronics,  Foxconn is expected to receive $3 billion in tax breaks and other subsidies over the next 15 years from Wisconsin. The New York Times reports.

High-paying tech jobs have become increasingly concentrated in eight cities: Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Austin, Raleigh, Washington, Baltimore and Boston.  “Tech jobs” include computer occupations, computer and information systems managers and computer engineers.  These eight cities have slightly less than 10% of U.S. jobs and about 13% of overall job postings.  But among tech jobs that typically pay over $100,000, nearly 40% of openings are in those eight cities.  The Wall Street Journal reports.  

Several companies have begun to research and test the use of “robotic pickers,” or machines that can pick up a toy and put it in a box.  These new advances could help retailers catch up with the increase in online orders and the spike in demand during holiday seasons.  Picking is the biggest labor cost in most e-commerce distribution centers, and among the least automated.  But challenges like creating an enormous database of 3D-rendered objects for robots to determine the best way to grip may prevent the automated picking is still at least a year away from commercial use.  The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Labor Department has taken official steps to roll back its overtime rule, as previously discussed here, calling for public comments on Tuesday.  The administration had previously announced that it would not challenge the injunction issued by a Texas district court last year, which had stopped the rule from taking effect.  Reuters reports.



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