Business Briefs – November 30, 2016

Survey: U.S. Businesses Add 216,000 Jobs, Most in 5 Months

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. companies added a solid 216,000 jobs in November, the most since June and evidence that the incoming Trump administration is inheriting a solid economy.

Payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that nearly all the gains occurred in service sectors such as retail, hotels and restaurants, as well as higher-paying professional services. Construction firms added 2,000 jobs, while manufacturing shed 10,000.

The figures add to other recent signs that the economy is expanding at a decent pace.

EPA to Keep Strict Gas Mileage Standards in Place

DETROIT (AP) – The Obama administration has decided not to change requirements that force automakers to increase the efficiency of new cars and trucks.

The decision follows a mandatory review of the standards established in 2012, when gas averaged $3.60 a gallon and small cars and hybrids were gaining favor.

The standards had required new cars to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. But there was a built-in reduction if buying habits changed — and they have. Now, as gas is averaging close to $2 a gallon, three of every five new vehicles sold in the U.S. are trucks and SUVs.

As a result, the 2025 fuel-economy number drops to 50.8 mph.

Pabst Splits CEO, Chairman Roles As It Picks New Executive

NEW YORK (AP) – Pabst, the largest beer maker based in the U.S., says it’s hiring Simon Thorpe as its new CEO.

Thorpe is the former president and CEO of Duvel Moortgat USA, a unit of a Belgian company. He was also an executive for AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer and the maker of Budweiser and many other beers.

Eugene Kashper, who has been chairman and CEO of Pabst since he and a group of partners bought Pabst two years ago, will give up the CEO role but remain company chairman.

Science Panel Urges Rewrite of Food Allergy Warning Labels

WASHINGTON (AP) – “Made in the same factory as peanuts.” ‘’May contain traces of tree nuts.” A new report says the hodgepodge of warnings that a food might accidentally contain a troublesome ingredient is confusing to people with food allergies, and calls for a makeover.

Foods made with allergy-prone ingredients such as peanuts or eggs must be labeled so consumers with food allergies know to avoid them. But what if a sugar cookie picks up peanut butter from an improperly cleaned factory mixer?

Today’s precautionary labels about accidental contamination are voluntary, meaning there’s no way to know if foods that don’t bear them should — or if wording such as “may contain traces” signals a bigger threat than other warnings.

Wednesday, a report from the prestigious National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said it’s time for regulators and the food industry to clear consumer confusion with labels that better reflect the level of risk.

Today, “there’s not any real way for allergic consumers to evaluate risk,” said National Academies committee member Stephen Taylor, a University of Nebraska food scientist. He said research raises concern that consumers might simply ignore the precautions, “essentially a form of playing Russian roulette with your food.”