Ford Is Hiring White-Collar Workers

Morning Business Memo…

New hiring plans by Ford are a sign of the times for American manufacturing, and they highlight who's really in demand for new jobs. Ford is going on a hiring spree, looking for hundreds of engineers and information technology workers as it boosts white-collar employment. The new jobs are part of Ford's turnaround as the company responds to rising sales. Ford and other US automakers shed thousands of jobs when fortunes slipped before and during the recession. The company announced this morning that it made $1.2 billion in the second quarter mostly from North American - not foreign sales. The average price per vehicle is also up.

"The greatest need is for workers with electronics skills and digital skills," reports USA Today, "reflecting how change in the auto industry is being driven by high-tech developments in infotainment systems, electronic controls and safety systems." Ford is facing competition from other employers for these skilled workers. With so many electronics in vehicles today the skill set required for engineers is changing.

Better than expected, but worse than last year. Investors are cheering Apple's results, and its share price has jumped 4 percent in the pre-market. Second-quarter profit fell 22 percent compared with last year. Revenue was flat, but iPhone sales were stronger than expected. Apple's share price has dropped sharply since late last year. It hasn't released another breakthrough product since the iPad came out three years ago, raising concerns the company has lost its touch since the October 2011 death of founder Steve Jobs.

AT&T is reporting strong wireless revenue for the latest quarter, but profit declined as costs grew. The largest telecommunications company says it earned $3.8 billion in the spring quarter. Most of the mobile devices added to AT&T's subscriber plans were tablets - not smart phones.

Hotel guests may be more likely to enjoy their stay. After two years of declines, JD Power's hotel guest satisfaction has increased significantly, reaching its highest levels in the past seven years. The study, now in its 17th year, measures overall guest satisfaction across eight hotel segments. The findings are based on responses from more than 68,000 guests from Canada and the United States who stayed in a hotel between June 2012 and May 2013. "Many hotel chains are finally benefiting from the long-term investments they have been making to improve their properties in terms of staffing, rooms and facilities," says Rick Garlick, at JD Power. While Internet usage during a hotel stay continues to steadily increase, it remains the top problem experienced by guests.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio Twitter: daviesabc

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