September 28, 2013

Briefcase

From staff and news services

Bath Iron Works plans to lay off 42 in October

Bath Iron Works notified union leaders Friday that it plans to lay off 42 employees at the shipyard in October.

The General Dynamics subsidiary, which employs about 5,700 workers in Bath, said it will try to find new positions for the 42 affected employees.

The layoff is scheduled to take effect Oct. 11.

Company spokesman Jim DeMartini said the downsizing will eliminate the jobs of 42 pipe coverers and insulators, the same positions affected by a 40-person layoff in August.

DeMartini said there isn't enough work for those specialties despite several large government contracts the company is working to fulfill.

All of the workers who were laid off in August were offered other jobs at the shipyard.

Stocks fall on threat of government shutdown

The stock market closed lower Friday, capping its first losing week of September, as investors focused on the risk of a U.S. government shutdown.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 70.06 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 15,258.24. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 6.92 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,691.75. The Nasdaq composite was down 5.83 points, or 0.15 percent, at 3,781.59.

The Dow and S&P 500 have fallen in six of the past seven trading days after reaching all-time highs on Sept. 18.

Two financial deadlines loom for the U.S. government. Congress needs to pass a funding bill to keep the federal government operating after Oct. 1, when its new fiscal year starts. And the government is expected to reach its debt ceiling around Oct. 17.

Consumer confidence sees sharp drop in September

It's become a familiar chapter in this sluggish economic recovery: Dysfunction in Washington drags down consumer confidence.

The University of Michigan reported Friday that after rising to a six-year high this summer, its gauge of consumer sentiment fell sharply in September to 77.5 from 82.1 in the prior month. That's the lowest reading since April.

"While few consumers expected a federal shutdown, complaints about the economic policies of the government have risen," said Richard Curtin, director of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey.

Connecticut boatyard gets USS Providence contract

Connecticut's Electric Boat has won a $25.7 million contract to perform maintenance work on the USS Providence.

The work on the Los Angeles-class attack submarine was originally expected to be done at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine. But it was moved to Groton's Electric Boat following the cancellation of repair work planned for the fire-damaged USS Miami.

Electric Boat says that at the contract's peak, the maintenance and modernization of the Providence will involve up to 300 employees. The work is expected to be completed by April 2014.

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