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Regulatory Favoritism in North Carolina
North Carolina citizens have good reason to wonder just whom their environmental regulators are trying to protect. The state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources has engaged in a series of maneuvers that seem designed to protect the state’s largest utility, Duke Energy, from paying big fines for water pollution from coal ash ponds and meeting reasonable requirements that it move toxic coal ash to lined landfills away from rivers and lakes used for drinking water and recreation. New York Times
Submitted 3 years 6 days ago

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IBM remains stingy on details regarding U.S. layoffs
IBM (NYSE: IBM) still isn’t commenting on job cuts reportedly hitting its U.S. operations. But spokesperson Doug Shelton does have words on cuts reported in Europe and India. Business Journal
Submitted 3 years 6 days ago

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Stop whining! The US economy is in good shape
While operating more than an entire percentage point below its potential growth rate, the U.S. economy still raised its business sector employment by nearly 2 million people over the last twelve months. That is a remarkable achievement because companies usually don't step up hiring until a sustained increase in capacity pressures them to start adding to their labor force. CNBC
Submitted 3 years 6 days ago

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Economists disagree on whether the minimum wage kills jobs. Why?
What happens when the minimum wage goes up? In theory, this should be simple. A hike in the minimum wage raises the cost of low-wage workers. That should make firms less likely to hire those people. Unemployment should rise. Basic Econ 101, right? Washington Post
Submitted 3 years 6 days ago

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Minimum Wage Studies
“Fight Over Wage Illustrates Web of Industry Ties” (front page, Feb. 10) implies that my empirical findings on the effects of minimum wages are “perhaps unintentionally skewed” by my receipt of grant funding. This insinuation will not stand close scrutiny. New York Times
Submitted 3 years 6 days ago

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Miss. exports hit record in '13
More of the world is buying Mississippi’s goods and services, according to the federal government. The state exported a record $12.3 billion to countries across the globe in 2013, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. It’s one of 16 states that set new exporting benchmarks last year, reflecting a global economy that federal officials say is less defined by physical boundaries and geography than in the past. “The opportunities are vast. If a company isn’t doing business in a foreign market, their competitors probably are,” said Carol Moore Anderson, director of the Commerce Department’s Mississippi Export Assistance Center. Clarion-Ledger
Submitted 3 years 9 days ago

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La. exports hit record $63.1 billion in 2013
Louisiana merchandise exports increased 0.3 percent to a record $63.1 billion in 2013, up from $62.9 billion in 2012. The International Trade Administration said Tuesday Louisiana’s strong performance in 2013 helped the United States reach a record for exports of U.S. goods and services, reaching $2.3 trillion in 2013 and supporting nearly 10 million American jobs. Louisiana was among 16 states to set new records for export sales in 2013, with 10 additional states experiencing merchandise export growth. The Advocate
Submitted 3 years 9 days ago

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Executives express need for skilled workers in La.
Concerns about the need for quality craftsmen to fuel growth measured in scores of billions of dollars dominated a panel discussion Thursday about Louisiana’s emerging industrial boom. Steven Grissom, deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, said companies have committed since 2008 to spending more than $50 billion on plant expansions and construction of new facilities that mean 80,000 new jobs. “We’re at the very beginning,” Grissom told an audience of hundreds at the L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge. Grissom said during the panel discussion among leaders in the chemical, construction, energy and consulting fields that many more billions are expected over the next several years. The Advocate
Submitted 3 years 9 days ago

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What's killing coal jobs? Industry employment down 17 percent over 2 years
The number of jobs supported by the nation's coal industry is in a "downward spiral" and a "free-fall," according to energy experts. According to SNL Energy, the average number of coal mine workers employed across the U.S. in 2013 fell more than 9 percent over the year. After peaking at nearly 94,000 jobs at the end of 2011, coal mining employment is down more than 17 percent from peak in just two years, the report says. Two forces in particular are having a large impact on the coal industry's current changes. "While many say the U.S. EPA's air emissions and mining regulations have played the largest part in the downsizing of coal production and employment, heavy price competition from a surge in domestic natural gas production has also played a major role," write SNL Energy's Neil Powell and Taylor Kuykendall. AL.com
Submitted 3 years 9 days ago

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Mitch McConnell sought money for biofuel plant while criticizing Obama for idea
Two years ago, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to deride President Barack Obama for a speech that called for developing biofuel from algae — dismissing it as nothing more than a “pipe dream.” “I think the American people realize that a president who’s out there talking about algae when they’re having to choose between whether to buy groceries or to fill up the tank is the one who’s out of touch,” McConnell thundered. But a few years earlier, McConnell, R-Ky., himself worked to obtain a $30 million grant for a company that wanted to build a plant in Springfield, Ky., to turn algae, switchgrass, corncobs and other such materials into ethanol — a plant that ultimately was never built and a grant that was never spent. Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted 3 years 9 days ago

 

 

Features & Opinion

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

For those who still languish over "losing to China" or believe that the economy is still in recession, wake up and smell the data. Economic development in the South was about as good as it gets in calendar year 2015 according to the data. And as for China, borrowing a quote from the late football coach Bear Bryant that he made in the half-time locker room down 15-0 to Georgia Tech in 1960, "We got 'em right where we want 'em." For those of you who don't know the rich history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bama scored all of its 16 points in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Tech 16-15.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Mike Randle
Today, factories in the U.S. make twice as much product as they did in 1984. And they are doing it with one-third of the manufacturing workforce. In fact, the output of durable goods in 2015 was the highest in the nation's history. So, we do have a strong manufacturing base, at least in the South, much of the Midwest and parts of the West, and it is getting stronger because on a cost-basis, we can compete with any major manufacturing nation in the world.  
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

FEATURE     
The argument for or against a minimum wage hike continues between the reds and the blues, as well as within the economic development community in the South. Should we stay the course with a minimum wage under $8 an hour to better compete with Mexico, the South's biggest competitor for jobs, or set a minimum wage just over $10 an hour, a wage floor most centrists support? That $10 per hour is, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, about right in most states in the South for one adult to be able to cover basic expenses plus all relevant taxes.
 
 Randle Report - Business News in the South
Recent data from the Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) showed that the technology industry is one of the fastest growing job generators in the South and the nation. The report also indicated that technology job compensation is growing faster than any other sector.
 


 

 

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