Still, Obama administration officials have been saying more optimistic things about the economy, pointing to what they call green shoots. The good news includes a rise in new orders for manufactured goods in February. Some sounds of an economic springtime can be heard in auto parts factory in Cleveland, Ohio. Mhari Saito of member station WCPN has this report.

MHARI SAITO: Over the winter, the sound of silence was unnervingly common at Talent Tool and Die as its massive metal presses sat idle. The auto parts maker cut back to weather the slowdown in orders from car companies. But these days, this is what you hear.

(Soundbite of factory machines)

SAITO: Purchasing manager Tri Pham says those large presses are now making seat belt and break parts.

Mr. TRI PHAM (Purchasing Manager, Talent Tool and Die): Maybe this is sign that we start turning around with something, but I see order come in up to June and July, it was - look kind of busy right now.

SAITO: But the company isn't just benefiting from new orders. Talent Tool and Die is getting the work that was once done by competitors who are now out of business.

Professor NED HILL (Auto Industry Expert, Cleveland State University): Welcome to the economy, as written by Darwin.

SAITO: Professor Ned Hill, an auto industry expert at Cleveland State University, says this is happening around the country.

Prof. HILL: This is an industry that's restructuring. It depends on how much cushioning takes place through government intervention. But the companies that remain are going to be a lot better shape with more market share.

SAITO: In an office at Talent Tool and Die, Tri Pham says he's sad to see other companies close. But to survive right now, he says he'll take all the work he can get.

Mr. PHAM: One day, we might be in the same boat where they are, but whatever out there, we'll grab, we'll get it in - no job too big, no job too small.

SAITO: And for right now, Talent Tool and Die has enough orders that it's doing something really unusual: hiring a few workers.

For NPR News, I'm Mhari Saito in Cleveland.

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