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Briefs

Longe Optical lab goes digital for precise lens-making

Local entrepreneur Chuck Surack has invested almost $1 million to install an all-digital optical lab at Longe Optical’s store at 3409 N. Anthony Blvd. The lenses, which become available Monday, can be ordered from any of the retailer’s four locations. Delivery is as quick as three days.

Digital processing “has enabled optometrists to craft lenses that better suit the needs of the user while minimizing the distortion inherent in progressive lens designs,” according to an article on Medgadget, an independent journal covering news on medical gadgets and technologies.

“Lenses made this way have a resolution up to six times greater than traditional progressive lenses,” the article said.

In addition to the North Anthony location, Longe Optical has stores at 6709 W. Jefferson Blvd., 10240 Coldwater Road and 7625 Southtown Crossing.

Lockheed Martin to cut 4,000 jobs

Lockheed Martin Corp. said Thursday it will cut 4,000 jobs and close some operations in response to decreased federal spending, even after third-quarter profit rose 16 percent.

The cuts affect four of the company’s five business segments, sparing only aeronautics, which accounts for 30 percent of the largest U.S. government contractor’s sales and includes the F-35 jet, the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program.

The move reflects job cuts that may be ahead at every major defense vendor as the U.S. curtails military spending after years of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Brian Ruttenbur, an analyst with CRT Capital Group.

Boeing workers reject contract

Despite warnings that production of Boeing’s next generation 777 plane could go to another state, machinists in the Northwest voted Wednesday to reject a contract proposal that would have exchanged concessions for decades of secure jobs.

In response, the Boeing Co. said it would begin a bid process to find a home for its 777X production line.

Members of the International Association of Machinists District 751 rejected the proposal with 67 percent of the votes. Union members opposed Boeing’s push to end a traditional pension plan and increase their health care costs.

Workers would have received a $10,000 signing bonus if they approved the deal.

Worker productivity rises at modest pace

U.S. workers increased their productivity from July through September at roughly the same modest pace as the previous three months. Steady gains in productivity could dissuade companies from ramping up hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that productivity increased at a 1.9 percent annual rate in the third quarter, about the same as the 1.8 percent rate in the previous quarter. The second-quarter figure was lower than the estimated 2.3 percent rate.

US trade deficit widens by 8 percent

The U.S. trade deficit widened in September as imports increased to the highest level in 10 months while exports slipped. The wider gap suggests growth was slower during the summer than previously estimated.

The deficit rose to $41.8 billion, up 8 percent from August, the Commerce Department said Thursday. It was the largest trade gap since May and marked the third consecutive month that the deficit has risen since its four-year low in June.

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