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Briefs

Builders hiring at quick pace

During last year’s housing recovery a question loomed: Where are all the construction jobs?

The answer arrived Friday in a government report that showed the best hiring for the U.S. building industry since the peak of the housing boom.

Construction firms added 28,000 jobs last month, according to the January employment report. And the industry has created 98,000 jobs since September, according to annual revisions that were released with the report. The last time construction contributed that many jobs to the economy was in the spring of 2006 – right before the market went bust.

“The construction job recovery has clearly arrived,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia, a real estate data analysis firm.

Economists had known for months that the industry was turning around. Homebuilders broke ground on 780,000 homes in 2012, a 28 percent increase from the previous year. Spending on residential construction projects has risen in every month since April.

But until Friday, there were few signs of steady growth in construction employment.

Goodwill store set at Glenbrook Commons

Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana Inc. is moving one of its stores to make parking a bit easier for customers.

The discount retailer plans to open April 4 in Glenbrook Commons in the 12,855-square-foot space vacated by Fashion Bug. Goodwill’s location at 925 Coliseum Blvd. E. will close shortly before that date.

Goodwill Industries employs more than 200 as it runs nine stores and offers employment services in 10 counties, spokeswoman Ruth Koontz said.

The staff from the old store will transfer to the new one, but the company has job openings on an ongoing basis. Koontz suggested that anyone interested in joining the company should go to its website, www.fwgoodwill.org, for more information.

Manufacturing pace quickens in January

U.S. manufacturing activity grew at a faster pace in January, driven by an increase in new orders and more hiring at factories.

The Institute for Supply Management said Friday its index of manufacturing activity jumped to 53.1 in January from 50.2 in December. It was the highest reading since April, when the index hit 54.1. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The second straight monthly increase in the index showed manufacturing is starting to grow again after struggling through most of 2012. Uncertainty about tax increases and deep government spending cuts led many companies to reduce orders for machinery and equipment earlier this year. And a weaker global economy dampened demand for U.S. exports.

The report was also encouraging because it showed that demand for factory goods increased even as consumers started to pay higher Social Security taxes.

Budís pony debuts in Super Bowl ad

For decades, Anheuser-Busch has used its famous Clydesdales in Super Bowl ads for Budweiser. The latest star is barely 2 weeks old.

A foal born Jan. 16 at Anheuser-Busch’s Warm Springs Ranch near the mid-Missouri town of Boonville is featured in an ad that will appear in Sunday’s game between the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers and AFC champion Baltimore Ravens.

Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/WD8oEz.

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