The latest employment report from the U.S. Department of Labor shows signs of a slowdown in manufacturing jobs. Ball State University economist Michael Hicks notes that the first jobs report of the year listed a loss of 12,000 positions in the manufacturing field. Most of that was a result of a slowdown in production of motor vehicles and parts. The Center for Business and Economic Research at BSU says it’s a continuing trend that has been going on for several months. The slowdown in factory production and employment is expected to be felt more heavily in the Midwest.