Friday Roundup: Manufacturing rebound, pension funding gaps, and who reads the news

There are always a few items we’ve read during the week that deserve more attention but don’t make it into our regular posts. So we bundle them for the Friday roundup.

Here’s this week’s bundle:

National Association of Manufacturers: Manufacturing Activity Rebounded in September

The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index(PMI) rebounded in September after unexpectedly contracting in August… This was encouraging news, and a sign that the August reading were a bit of an outlier. Indeed, new orders (up from 49.1 to 55.1) recovered strongly, with modest growth in production (up from 49.6 to 52.8) and exports (down from 52.5 to 52.0). Despite the easing in exports, international demand has expanded for seven consecutive months.

Seattle Times: How’s Washington Really Doing? Check This Out.

If you want to research how states, counties, and metro areas are performing, there’s always the gold-standard FRED charts from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis…Now comes the Fiscal 50 from the Pew Charitable Trusts. This interactive site allows you to track nine important economic measures, from state finances to employment and personal income, since 2007. 

The American Interest: Detroit Meltdown: Appeals Court Rejects Pensioners’ Challenge

Public union leaders, take note: A U.S. Court of Appeals just struck a major blow against retired public workers challenging Detroit’s cuts to their benefits as the city claws its way out of pension-induced bankruptcy. 

The Columbian: Vote “No” on Initiative 1433

While being well-intentioned and possessing some strong selling points, Initiative 1433 to raise the minimum wage in Washington would be a big leap forward when more incremental steps are necessary. The Columbian’s Editorial Board recommends a “no” vote on the statewide ballot measure.

The Seattle Times: Reject I-1501 and urge lawmakers to address identity theft

I-1501 is a Trojan horse. It’s being run by a deep-pocketed special-interest group that wants to weaken the state Public Records Act, reducing the people’s access to government records.

Pew Research Center: Younger adults more likely than their elders to prefer reading news

When it comes to technology’s influence on America’s young adults, reading is not dead – at least not the news. When asked whether one prefers to read, watch or listen to their news, younger adults are far more likely than older ones to opt for text, and most of that reading takes place on the web.

Overall, more Americans prefer to watch their news (46%) than to read it (35%) or listen to it (17%), a Pew Research Center survey found earlier this year.

Associated Press: Report: State pension funding gap at $1.2 trillion 

State-run pension systems across the country were underfunded by $1.2 trillion last year and are expected to be in even worse shape in the years ahead, according to a report released Thursday from a top credit rating agency.

Moody’s Investors Service said it expects the gap to hit $1.7 trillion with the next round of state audits, largely because investment returns have been far below expectations for the funds.