Factory order drop slightly in December

Although factory orders were down in December 2013, the damage wasn't as bad as most experts had predicted. U.S. factory orders decreased by 1.5 percent in December, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

The demand for durable goods - products that have a shelf life of three years - decreased by 4.2 percent. This is not a total loss as experts originally predicted a 4.3 percent drop. Nondurable goods, which include chemicals and paper, actually increased by 1.1 percent, which is positive news for the sector as demand fell 0.4 percent in November. Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services, said in an interview with The Associated Press he is optimistic manufacturing will grow at the same rate of the overall economy, which is expected to increase at a steady pace in 2014.

"Consumers are gradually increasing their spending, releasing some of the pent-up demand that has developed for big-ticket items, such as cars and trucks, after being cautious with purchases since the Great Recession," he said. "Better growth overseas is also boosting demand for U.S. manufacturers."

The total amount of orders for 2013 was $5.82 trillion, a 2.5 percent increase from 2012.

Businesses who need to meet increased demands in 2014 can enlist the services of operations recruiters to help them find experienced workers.