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That's The Randle Report for March 22, 2017
Join us again tomorrow morning for all of the American South's business, economic development and political news in real time and in one place. Use the sort buttons or the search window to find any story you need to find from last week, last month, last year or several years ago. Click on the headline above to access Southern Business & Development's website, the economic development magazine of the American South; the fourth largest economy in the world.
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How Close Is the U.S. to Full Employment? Trump and Yellen Disagree
How many more jobs can the U.S. economy add before it runs out of ready, willing, and able workers? There's no more important debate right now, and key players disagree on how much slack remains in the labor market before employment growth ignites unacceptably high wage hikes and inflation. Trump exulted over the better-than-expected increase of 235,000 jobs in February, casting aside his previous doubts about the reliability of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Officially, the White House committed earlier this year to creating 25 million jobs over the next decade, a period that would extend even beyond a second Trump term. That's an average of more than 200,000 jobs per month. The president appears to hopes to achieve that target by raising the economy's growth rate to 4 percent, although more recently Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has used a figure of around 3 percent. Bloomberg
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Five ways Virginia's new eco devo chief hopes to improve the state's economy
Stephen Moret has a plan to grow Virginia’s economy faster, spread the wealth beyond Northern Virginia and return the commonwealth to its former glory as a top place to do business. Moret, who took over as president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership earlier this year, stopped by Loudoun County’s Department of Economic Development on Thursday to talk about his five-point plan for the state, which has yet to fully recover from federal sequestration and other economic gut punches. Here are Moret’s top priorities: Washington Business Journal
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Report: Lockheed to move F-16 production to South Carolina after four decades in Texas
Lockheed Martin has finally decided where it will move its production of F-16 aircraft, according to a report from the web site Defense One. Greenville, S.C., is the location chosen for the future f-16 assembly line, the site said, quoting Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin's Aeronautics business area. Carvalho said the last F-16s will roll out of the Fort Worth factory in September, then after a two-year break, production will resume in South Carolina. Dallas Morning News
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What might Trump's budget mean for the D.C. region? The loss of billions of dollars and thousands of feds.
The federal budget proposed by the Trump administration would cost the region up to 24,600 federal jobs and billions of dollars in lost salaries and procurement spending, according to a new analysis by regional economist Stephen Fuller. The District would see the most federal job losses, according to Fuller, with 14,000 to 15,000 federal jobs lost. Suburban Maryland would be next, with 5,500 to 6,000 federal jobs lost. Northern Virginia would see the least impact, with 500 to 3,600 jobs lost. Washington Business Journal
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North Carolina's HB2 repeal could mean 1,000-plus new Credit Suisse jobs in RTP, sources say
Multiple sources have confirmed that global financial services giant Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) is evaluating a plan to move between 1,000 to 1,500 high-paying jobs among its operations in the Americas – specifically from the New York metro area – to Research Triangle Park. It’s even developed a real estate strategy for what could be the largest economic development announcement in the Triangle since MetLife committed to hiring 1,200 people in Cary for its technology hub that opened in 2015. Triangle Business Journal
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Here's how Florida's Space Coast plans to fills hundreds of high-tech jobs
While some companies may face trouble finding the right kind of technology and manufacturing talent in Central Florida, one Brevard County group is hoping to lessen the pressure by building on one of its programs. During OneWeb Satellites LLC 's groundbreaking in Exploration Park on March 16, company CEO Brian Holz said Space Coast companies such as Blue Origin and Harris Corp. are "working with the EDC to create an apprenticeship program to help retrain people for the technologies and techniques we need to support the new industry we have here." Orlando Business Journal
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SpaceX signing lease for rocket refurbishing center in Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral commissioners are set to vote on a lease agreement for SpaceX to r enovate a building and reuse it for its rocket refurbishment center. SpaceX and Port Canaveral have been in talks since last year about a lease for the former 53,360-square-foot SpaceHab building at 620 Magellan Road in Port Canaveral, but commissioners will discuss and vote on the agreement on March 22. The port's five-year lease agreement with SpaceX will cost $426,880 per year, and the estimated capital improvements for the building, which SpaceX will cover, is $516,000, according to Port Canaveral documents. Orlando Business Journal
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Study: Tennessee among the most federally dependent states
A new study suggests Tennessee isn't paying its way in America as the state's residents and government are taking more from the federal government than they're putting in. The report is from WalletHub, a financial-advice website that also releases studies on economic and social issues affecting U.S. states and cities. The new report, released today, figures Tennessee’s state government is the third most-dependent state on federal funding, a figure derived from the proportion of state revenue that comes from the federal government in the form of intergovernmental aid. It also estimates Tennessee residents are the 20th most-dependent on federal aid, which was calculated by dividing federal funding to state’s residents by IRS collections from state residents. Knoxville News Sentinel
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Tennessee legislators push for transparency with business tax credits
Tennessee lawmakers this week are considering a pair of bills that would require more transparency about the economic impact of business tax credits. The push for disclosure comes after a state-commissioned report showed some of Tennessee’s tax breaks had mixed success, with millions of revenue forgone. Businesses are awarded tax credits for hiring new workers, for buying industrial machinery, and other behavior intended to stimulate the state’s economy. Tennessee gives businesses about $142 million each year in tax credits, the study found, and the companies significantly boost hiring under some credits, but not others. The Tennessean
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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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