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That's The Randle Report for July 31, 2015
Join us again Monday 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 above to find your favorite stories from yesterday, last week, last month or last year. Click on the headline to access Southern Business & Development magazine.
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Oil industry renews call for exports
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday called for Congress to end the 40-year-old oil export ban. "Lifting the ban would create an estimated one million jobs here at home — jobs that would frankly get created in every state," Boehner said at his weekly press briefing. "It would help bring down prices at the pump for consumers. And it would be good for our allies. If the administration wants to lift the ban for Iran, certainly the United States should not be the only country left in the world with such a ban in place." NewsOK.com
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Exxon, Chevron Brace for Darker Times as Earnings Slump
Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., the biggest U.S. energy producers, hunkered down for a prolonged stretch of weak prices after posting their worst quarterly performances in several years. Exxon reported its lowest profit since 2009 as crude prices fell twice as fast as the world’s largest crude producer by market value could slash expenses. Chevron recorded its lowest profit in more than 12 years after the market rout forced $2.6 billion in asset writedowns and related charges. The companies’ shares fell to the lowest in more than three years. Bloomberg
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Exxon Mobil Earnings Cut in Half
Exxon Mobil Corp., the biggest and richest U.S. oil company, reported its lowest earnings in six years on Friday as bigger profits from refining couldn’t offset plunging earnings in its exploration and production business. Shares of Exxon Mobil tumbled as much as 5% on Friday to their lowest level since mid-2012. Recently, shares were down 4.7% to $79.11. Exxon also said it would again scale back its share buybacks during the current quarter to a level of $500 million. Exxon bought back $1 billion in shares in the second quarter, which was down from its previous level of about $3 billion in buybacks each quarter. The Wall Street Journal
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Declines in gasoline demand could further disrupt Houston's economy
As refiners and petrochemical producers largely influence Houston's economy, particularly regarding jobs, these downstream lifelines should safeguard themselves against one market force that Houston refiners have largely been able to ignore for the past decade: a decline in consumer demand for gasoline. Consumer demand for gasoline is forecasted to decline as early as within five to six years, said oil and gas experts at the Houston office of KPMG LLP. From 2014 to 2040, motor gasoline consumption is expected to go down from under 9 million barrels per day to just under 7 million barrels per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2014. Houston Business Journal
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OKC employment picture continues to erode
For the third straight month, Oklahoma City's unemployment rate rose in June. June's jump was a half a percentage point, landing the metro jobless rate at 4.3 percent, the U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday. In March, the Oklahoma City metro area recorded a jobless rate of 3.3 percent, the nation's lowest rate among large cities. Now Oklahoma City lags the Austin, Texas, area by a full percentage point, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment also rose across 76 of 77 Oklahoma counties in June. NewsOK.com
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Tulsa metro's jobless rate jumps to 4.8 percent in June
The Tulsa area’s jobless rate jumped to 4.8 percent in June and was higher than it was a year ago at the same time, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic and the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. The seven-county metro’s monthly rate rose from a revised 4.4 percent in May and was above the 4.7 percent recorded in June 2014. The Tulsa area was among 28 metropolitan areas that recorded a higher rate than a year earlier. Nationwide, 351 of the 387 metros posted unemployment rates that were lower in June than a year ago at the same time, according to the BLS. Tulsa World
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Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s $1B IOU: The cost of ‘It City’
Nashville is booming, and it’s not by accident. Mayor Karl Dean has been a key driver of the city’s growth, using public debt to fuel private investment. His strategy has worked, but his big spending also heightens Music City’s risk. Nashville Business Journal
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Port of Gulfport and MDA eye hotel positions to meet maritime jobs goal
“Maritime” jobs mean one thing to the world, but at the Port of Gulfport that may include hotel workers. That is a possibility as the port and the Mississippi Development Authority seek to create 1,300 jobs at the port in exchange for $566 million from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to rebuild and expand the facility, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005. The time frame on the restoration was a local decision. That’s because the congressional authorization allowing the shifting of money initially set aside for low-to-moderate housing did not set one, according to HUD. Mississippi Business Journal
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Louisiana gains jobs despite losses in five of nine labor markets
Although only four of the state’s nine metro areas added jobs during the 12 months through June, Louisiana’s nonfarm employment still grew by 15,100 jobs to 1,995,800. The Baton Rouge metro area led the way, adding 10,300 jobs during the 12-month period to reach 403,700 jobs. It was the 54th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in nonfarm employment, according to preliminary numbers from the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The numbers have not been adjusted for seasonal factors. Lake Charles added 5,800 jobs; Hammond, 1,100; and Alexandria, 300. The Advocate
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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Urban areas have all kinds of assets that are easy to spot. They have the population, so the labor shed is not usually an issue. Urban areas are also connected by better roads, rail and air service and many have river and deep water ports. Usually Internet access and other forms of communication are more efficient in urban areas. And you have a larger array of quality of life options to choose from, such as the cultural assets found in metropolitan areas.
 

 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     
After I finished the cover story for this issue, I read an interesting article by economist Paul Krugman, the op-ed columnist for the New York Times, titled, "Partying like it’s 1995." Generally I side with Krugman, even though I am a journalist, not an economist. Occasionally, though, I read some of his stuff and ask myself, "What planet did Krugman come from?" Like when he predicted a shift of automotive assembly to Canada after Toyota announced a new plant in Woodstock, Ontario in 2005 because of "free healthcare," among other benefits. That Toyota deal was the last major automotive assembly plant announced in Canada and I predict it will be the very last one for the Canadians.
 
 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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