Mass. firm to merge with Baker Newman Noyes

A division of a Massachusetts-based company that specializes in community banking work is merging with Portland-based CPA and consulting firm Baker Newman Noyes.

The external audit and tax practices of Shatswell, MacLeod & Co. P.C., which has offices in Peabody and Springfield, Massachusetts, will join BNN. The transaction is expected to be completed on July 1.

BNN already serves a banking client base that includes commercial and savings banks, credit unions, trust companies and investment advisory firms.

All of the employees of Shatswell. MacLeod’s external audit and tax practices will become employees of BNN and continue to operate out of Massachusetts offices.

Glen MacLeod, CEO of Shatswell, MacLeod, along with his other partners, John Marsh, Kevin O’Brien and Joseph Jalbert, will become audit principals at BNN. John Fitzgibbons, the leader of Shatswell, MacLeod’s tax practice, will also join BNN.

UMaine to award honorary doctorate to Dana Connors

Dana Connors, longtime president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, will be awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Maine on Saturday.

Connors was Presque Isle city manager for 16 years. He then spent 11 years as commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation. Connors led Gov. Angus King’s transition team prior to becoming president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce in 1994.

Connors serves on the boards of the Maine Economic Research Institute, the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Maine & Co.

Strong dollar puts damper on American job growth

U.S. companies hired in April at the slowest pace in nearly a year and a half, a private survey found, as the strong dollar dragged down overseas sales and energy companies cut back on spending in the face of lower oil prices.

Payroll processor ADP said that businesses added just 169,000 jobs in April, down from 175,000 in the previous month. That was the fewest since January 2014.

U.S. productivity declines as labor costs increase

U.S. worker productivity declined in the first three months of the year as labor costs jumped, reflecting a slowdown in growth.

The Labor Department said that productivity, which is the amount of output per hour of work, fell at 1.9 percent rate in the first quarter. Productivity dropped at a 2.1 percent rate in the final three months of 2014.

– From staff and news services