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SMU economists: No economic slowdown in sight
Al Niemi believes 2015 will be a good year for the U.S. economy, as will 2016, 2017, probably 2018 and maybe even 2019. “I’m beginning to think this might be the longest expansion in the history of the American economy,” says the dean of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. “We’re not building in any imbalances. There’s plenty of upside potential. We’re crawling out of a hole and beginning to see the light.” The longest previous stretch of economic growth lasted 120 months beginning in 1991 and running to 2001. If Niemi proves prescient, that would mean we’re only about halfway through our current growth spurt, with 66 months under our belt. Niemi was the lead-off speaker at a media briefing that he hosts each December to show off the brainpower of SMU’s business school. Dallas Morning News
Submitted 3 hours ago

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Nashville's economic development pros react to state's new ECD chief
Randy Boyd's business background is a huge plus, Middle Tennessee economic development officials say. But his active role in workforce initiatives brings just as much to the table in his new role as the state's lead corporate recruiter. Gov. Bill Haslam named Boyd his new Economic and Community Development commissioner Thursday morning, replacing Bill Hagerty come January. Boyd founded Knoxville-based Radio Systems Corp. in 1991. The firm employees more than 650 employees worldwide and makes pet supplies, including invisible fences and bark-control leashes, under its brand name PetSage. Boyd served as chairman and CEO. Nashville Business Journal
Submitted 3 hours ago

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Emails show NC faced long odds vying with SC for big companies
North Carolina officials want to close the gap with South Carolina and other states that offer larger incentive packages and lower tax rates to lure companies – sometimes causing Charlotte to miss out on hundreds of jobs. But emails and documents obtained by the Observer under a public records request show the state has hurdles to overcome if it wants to keep up with South Carolina and other rivals: • To win a new plant being built by the Keer Group, a Chinese textile company, South Carolina dangled an incentives package 10 times larger than North Carolina’s, the emails show. “SC is working them hard,” April Kappler of the N.C. Commerce Department wrote in an email before a visit with the company. Charlotte Observer
Submitted 3 hours ago

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Jobless rates drop in Tennessee and Georgia
Tennessee and Georgia are adding jobs this year at a faster pace than the nation as a whole, but both states continued to have unemployment rates above the U.S. average again in November. The jobless rate in Georgia dropped by the biggest monthly amount in 38 years last month, falling a half of a percent to 7.2 percent. In Tennessee, unemployment dropped during November by three-tenths of a percentage point to 6.8 percent -- the lowest rate since June. "This continues the pattern that started in August with Tennessee's rate falling faster than the U.S. as a whole," said Bill Fox, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee. "We're seeing consistent growth now -- and the drop in oil prices should only help in that recovery." Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 3 hours ago

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N.C. unemployment falls to 5.8%
North Carolina's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in November, dropping from 6.3 percent in October, according to data released Friday by the N.C. Department of Commerce. A year ago, North Carolina's jobless rate was 7.2 percent, the department noted. The number of persons employed statewide increased by 9,964 in November to a total of 4.36 million individuals in the North Carolina labor force. Charlotte Business Journal
Submitted 3 hours ago

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Mississippi again has worst jobless rate as payrolls dip, new report says
JACKSON, Mississippi — Though its unemployment rate fell in November, Mississippi again reigns undisputed as the state with the nation's highest jobless rate. Maybe worse, employer payrolls fell last month, dipping below levels of November 2013. That's an ominous sign of weakness in Mississippi's labor market, which has never really achieved liftoff since the recession. Both sets of figures — adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes — were released Friday by the U.S. Labor Department. Mississippi Press
Submitted 3 hours ago

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Texas jobless rate falls to 4.9%
AUSTIN -- Texas’ unemployment rate has declined for the third month in a row to 4.9 percent in November as the state continues to add jobs, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday. The state added 34,800 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in November and has now added 441,200 in the last year. The November unemployment rate was slightly lower than the 5.1 percent reported in October and was down from 6.1 percent a year ago. In Fort Worth-Arlington, the jobless rate declined to 4.5 percent, down from 4.7 percent in October and 5.6 percent a year ago. “The Texas economy continued its record-breaking expansion, providing job opportunities across a wide range of industries,” Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar said. “We must continue to focus our efforts on expanding our state’s skilled workforce to meet employer needs in high-demand industries.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Submitted 3 hours ago

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Texas at risk of recession as oil prices continue to fall, CNN reports
As the price of oil drops below $55 per barrel, the shale industry could scale back capital spending and cut jobs, which could plunge Texas into a regional recession, according to an article on CNN. Texas contributes 40 percent of the U.S. crude production over the past five years, and oil is critical to the state's economy. JP Morgan estimates Texas and North Dakota will bear the brunt of the revenue losses from low oil prices. "We think Texas will, at least, have a rough 2015 ahead, and is at risk of slipping into a regional recession," Michael Feroli, JPMorgan Chase chief U.S. economist, predicted Thursday. NOLA.com
Submitted 3 hours ago

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New Astrodome plan promotes connected green spaces, 'teamwork of financing'
An Urban Land Institute panel presented its initial recommendations for the future of the Astrodome on Dec. 19. The panel recommends turning the Dome into an indoor park and civic space, similar to an idea Judge Ed Emmett proposed earlier this year, according to media reports. The repurposed Astrodome would also be surrounded by additional green space designed to connect it to other areas of NRG Park. Although the presentation did not provide specific cost estimates, according to reports, it did emphasize the "teamwork of financing." Houston Business Journal
Submitted 3 hours ago

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Nicklaus: A challenging year for the St. Louis economy
Until Aug. 9, and maybe even until Nov. 24, this was shaping up as a pretty good year for the St. Louis economy. The area is adding jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Local entrepreneurs raised money at a pretty good clip. We beat out other cities for a German company’s seed-research facility and a Boeing airliner-parts plant. All of that good news got overshadowed by the death of Michael Brown and, later, the violent reaction after a grand jury declined to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot him. The protests after Brown’s death weren’t directly about economic issues, but they highlighted disparities that hadn’t been talked about enough in St. Louis. Inequality. Lack of upward mobility. Disinvestment in the urban core and inner-ring suburbs. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted 4 hours ago

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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

The America South is home to almost as many residents as the Northeast and the Midwest combined, but even that statistical record is about to be broken. According to a new Census Bureau study that came out in April, 51 percent of the nation's population jump occurred in the South from 2010 to 2013.
 

 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

We try to change up the categories in our annual Ten Top 10s section, but we always include the "Ten People Who Made a Difference" category. This year though, we are honoring 12 and you will learn why by reading about this group of folks who have made a difference in the South. Here is our annual list that includes executives, economic developers and politicians who have made a difference in the South's economy.


 


 

 

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