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South Dominates America’s Fastest Growing Cities List
The U.S. population rose by just 0.75% in 2014, roughly flat from previous years and the lowest growth rate in more than 70 years. Not only has the country become less attractive to immigrants than in previous years, with the population growing just over 0.3% last year as a result of migration, but the U.S. domestic birth rate has also dropped to a multi-decade low. 247wallst.com
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Here's More Proof the U.S. Economy Is Beating the Rest of the World
At first glance, the corporate profits data released today by the Commerce Department don't look good. Profits fell by 0.8 percent in 2014 from the prior year, the first decline since the middle of the recession. Below the surface, however, the weakness was concentrated in earnings from abroad. It's the latest embodiment of the surge in the dollar as the U.S. recovery strengthens. Profits originating outside the U.S. dropped by $36.1 billion in the fourth quarter, the biggest decrease since 2008 and the second-biggest since 2002. This would be money earned by big multinational companies, such as Coca-Cola Co. or Wal-Mart Stores Inc., as well as any business that sells goods and services abroad. Bloomberg
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Advanced industries drive down prices, making income more valuable
Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed how advanced industries—those industries that invest heavily in research and development and technical workers—are responsible for a large number of good-paying jobs and are leading the post-recession jobs recovery. But these industries also improve living standards by creating better products and services at more affordable prices. Previously we documented large drops in the relative prices paid by consumers for certain technology-rich products and services. Here, we examine broader trends in the prices of products produced in advanced industries compared to the prices in the rest of the economy. Brookings
Submitted 2 days ago

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Gov. Jindal Highlights Groundbreaking For Sasol’s $8.1 Billion Ethane Cracker Complex At Westlake, La.
WESTLAKE, La. — Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal highlighted the start of construction for Sasol’s $8.1 billion ethane cracker complex as company and regional officials gathered for groundbreaking at the Calcasieu Parish site. The world-scale petrochemical complex will include an ethane cracker and six chemical manufacturing plants, to be built near Sasol’s existing Westlake facilities. The project will roughly triple Sasol’s chemical production capacity in the United States. Sasol will create 500 direct new jobs with an average annual salary of $88,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 2,395 new indirect jobs, and the company estimates 5,000 construction jobs will be generated by the project during the next several years. Louisiana Economic Development
Submitted 2 days ago

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Population surge continues in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County
The latest evidence of the Charlotte area's surging population is out, with new data from the U.S. Census Bureau showing that Mecklenburg County now has more than 1 million residents. The figures released Thursday show the county added roughly 20,000 residents between July 1, 2013, and the same date a year later, bringing its total population to 1.01 million. Mecklenburg is the first of North Carolina's 100 counties to surpass the 1 million mark. Wake County ranks No. 2 among the state's most populous counties, with almost 999,000 residents. Charlotte Business Journal
Submitted 2 days ago

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February job gains drop Austin’s unemployment rate to 3.4 percent
Austin-area job creation surged as expected in February, as hotels and restaurants ramped up for South by Southwest and the Internal Revenue Service prepped for tax season. Central Texas employers added 8,600 jobs during the month, an increase of 0.9 percent—roughly in line with typical increases for February, according to data release Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The strong job gains helped knock the metro-area unemployment rate to 3.4 percent in February, down from 3.7 percent the prior month, the commission said. Austin Statesman
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Census: Austin fastest-growing metro in Texas, third-fastest in nation
Austin was the third-fastest growing metro area in the nation during the past year, according to new data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, with the population expanding by 3 percent between July 2013 and July 2014. The new data, released as part of the U.S. Census Bureau's annual population estimate program, gives the Austin-Round Rock area a total population of 1,943,299, an increase of about 57,496 new residents. In 2010, the Census pegged the region's population at 1,716,303, giving the area a 13.2 percent growth rate over the previous five years. Austin Business Journal
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CenturyLink opens tech center, glimpse of the future
CenturyLink chief executive Glen Post said the company's new Technology Center of Excellence will do more than house 800 employees. It's a symbol of the company's future. "We're transforming the company from one that provides dial-tone telephone service to a company providing strategic network services and cloud hosting and IT services," Post said Tuesday during a grand opening of the center, which is contiguous with CenturyLink's corporate headquarters on U.S. 165 North in Monroe. "This building is a big part of that," Post said. "I really believe this company will change the world of technology through work done here." Shreveport Times
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Three things Birmingham is doing right
If you're looking for something metro Birmingham is doing right, look downtown. That was the landslide choice of respondents to our recent survey that asked what Birmingham was doing right and what needs to improve. No matter how they feel about Birmingham's myriad challenges or which metro they envy, respondents love what's going on downtown. Whether they are millennials or longtime Birmingham residents near the end of their careers, the downtown revitalization drew heavy praise in our survey. Birmingham Business Journal
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Boeing’s anti-union campaign hits workers where they eat
A trio of table toppers that have shown up in the Boeing Co.’s employee cafeteria are enough to give any supporter of organized labor a case of indigestion. Boeing placed the table-toppers — which are usually used by restaurants to promote menu items — in the cafeteria of its North Charleston campus to get its anti-union message across to employees. The International Association of Machinists last week filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election for more than 2,400 eligible workers at the facility. A vote has been scheduled for April 22. Meanwhile, the president of IAM Lodge No. 751, which represents Boeing workers in Washington state, said in a statement that he is hopeful his North Charleston counterparts will vote in favor of the IAM. Post and Courier
Submitted 2 days ago

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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Just look around at what's happening in the aerospace industry in the American South. Aerospace is really making a move to become one of the region's top two industry sectors. It’s not there yet, but if large project counts are any indication, aerospace may soon challenge the petrochemicals sector as the second largest industry in the region. Never before has the aerospace industry been so important to the South's economy. Oh, what's the No. 1 industry sector in the South? Automotive is, of course. That industry hasn't been challenged much for 25 years in this region, or since we’ve been counting.

 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Stacy Randle
Demographer Wendell Cox recently analyzed the largest gains in holders of bachelor's and post-graduate degrees between 2007 and 2012 in the 51 metro regions in the U.S. of 1 million residents or more. The results were published in Forbes magazine and the South dominated the ranking.
 

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

FEATURE     
This is our annual "Made in the South" issue and it's timely because there is a new player in the South's manufacturing universe. For almost two decades, economic developers and politicos in the South and the U.S. have been chasing Chinese projects with little or nothing to show. Want proof we've been chasing ghosts in China for years? Okay, go ahead and name a Chinese brand that's made in the South? Tick. . .tick. . .tick. Give up?
 
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean
If you have ever seen one of my presentations, then you know about the word "reshoring" and how that phenomenon has lifted the spirits of even the most skeptical Southerners regarding the future of the region's economy. After all, in the last four decades, manufacturing has suffered a bloodletting never before seen in U.S. history. The biggest factor behind the slow and long meltdown that began in the 1990s was the herd mentality to offshore manufacturing capacity to cheaper locales, primarily by U.S.-owned companies.
 


 

 

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