Permanent R&D Tax Incentive Moves to the House for a Vote
The on-again, off-again nature of the R&D tax credit would finally come to an end if H.R. 880 was made a permanent part of the tax code, retroactive to December 31, 2014, when the credit expired. The bill would increase the easier-to-use alternative simplified credit from 14 percent to 20 percent. In order to make it easier for small businesses to take advantage of the credit, H.R. 880 would also allow eligible companies to use R&D tax credits to offset both their regular tax and any AMT liability. To read more about the bill, visit here.
Congress Urges West Coast Port Negotiations to Conclude
A new contract agreement between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) is urgently needed to keep commerce moving. The inability to efficiently send products through some West Coast ports is resulting in lost overseas sales and cancelled orders. A 10-day shutdown could cost the U.S. economy as much as $2.1 billion each day. Congress and the President are doing everything possible to help conclude the negotiations with a new contract and keep the West Coast ports open. To read more, visit here.
Manufacturing Job Openings Decrease Slightly in December
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the number of manufacturing job openings decreased slightly in December, down to 306,000 from 325,000 in November. While job postings pulled back a little, the longer-term trend remains positive. November's pace had been the fastest since August 2007 and the number of openings have risen steadily on a year-over-year pace, up from 2598,000 in January 2014. To read more, visit here.
Weekly Economic Report Summary
The momentum in demand and production in the second half of 2014 has led to an encouraging uptick in hiring. Income growth was also higher, with average weekly earnings up 2.0 percent year-over-year in January. At the same time, the larger economy has also seen strong growth, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by nearly 260,000 per month since the end of 2013. The unemployment rate edged up to 5.7 percent, however, as more American re-entered the labor force looking for work. To read more, visit here.