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Briefs

GM boosts investment in Michigan

General Motors will add a wing to its engine and transmission development headquarters in Pontiac, Mich., with hopes of getting new technology into cars and trucks much faster.

The Detroit automaker Wednesday announced that it would spend $200 million to add 138,000 square feet of new labs in Pontiac, allowing it to consolidate work from four other plants.

The move won’t create any new jobs, but it will bring 400 more positions to the Pontiac headquarters, raising its total employment to 3,900 from 3,500. The positions will be moved from GM plants in Castleton, Ind., Wixom, Mich., Torrance, Calif., and Warren, Mich. The 400 jobs also include the previously announced move of GM’s fuel cell development center from Honeoye Falls, N.Y., to Pontiac.

Work on the new wing is expected to start in the spring and be finished during the second half of 2014. It’s part of GM’s plan to invest $1.5 billion in its North American plants this year.

Boeing remains firm on 787 plant speed-up

Boeing is sticking with plans to speed up production of its 787 and sees no reason to change the lithium-ion battery design at the center of the troubled plane’s problems, its CEO said Wednesday.

Boeing’s full-speed-ahead approach comes even as it became clear that airlines were replacing 787 batteries more often than Boeing had expected. A fire and emergency landing this month, both involving the batteries, prompted regulators to ground Boeing’s newest and highest-profile plane.

Airlines have been replacing 787 batteries at a rate that’s slightly higher than Boeing had expected, CEO Jim McNerney said on Wednesday. None of the replacements have been for safety concerns, he said, and replacing batteries in planes is not uncommon.

U.S. aviation officials said they have asked Boeing for a full operating history of the batteries on the 787s.

Companies boost job rolls in January

Companies took on more workers than projected in January, a sign the labor market was staying on the path to expansion at the start of the year, according to a private report based on payrolls.

The 192,000 increase in employment, the most since February 2012, followed a revised 185,000 gain in December, figures from the Roseland, N.J.-based ADP Research Institute showed Wednesday. The median forecast of 38 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a January advance of 165,000.

Growing payrolls show that U.S. businesses see strong enough demand in the future to hire even as lawmakers in Washington spar over the federal budget.

Time mag group slashes 500 jobs

Time Inc., the magazine unit of Time Warner Inc., says it is cutting 6 percent of its global staff of 8,000, or about 500 people.

The cuts began Wednesday and will affect domestic and international workers.

In a memo to staff, Time CEO Laura Lang said the company must become leaner, more nimble, and operate on multiple platforms. She said operating more efficiently will create room for critical investments and new initiatives.

The unit publishes magazines such as Fortune, InStyle, People, Real Simple, Sports Illustrated and Time.

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