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Louisiana's economic highs, low tied to oil and gas
Louisiana's metropolitan areas were among the best and worst in terms of economic growth across the United States in 2015. According to new data released Tuesday (Sept. 20) by the U.S Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis, the extremes were tied to ebb and flow of the state's natural gas and oil industries, the latter of which continues to lag amid low prices while the former is booming as manufacturers take advantage of cheap fuel stock. NOLA.com
Submitted 2 days ago

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South Florida would rank 11th among the world's nations in economic power
Miami generated more than $318 billion of goods and services last year. That local output would have ranked 11th among the world's nations, putting South Florida just ahead of the Philippines. Click on the View Slideshow button below to see the 58 American markets whose gross metropolitan products (GMP) are higher than $50 billion, as announced this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Each slide links a market to the world economy that comes closest in gross domestic product (GDP). South Florida Business Journal
Submitted 2 days ago

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FedEx shares soar after beating analysts' expectations
Shares of Memphis-based FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) had their largest gain in six months after the logistics giant beat analysts' expectations and raised its profit forecast in its first quarter earnings report. The price of its shares climbed more than 6 percent, to nearly $173, after closing Tuesday at $162.65, making it the largest advance since March. Memphis Business Journal
Submitted 2 days ago

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Memphis-based FedEx opens new Little Rock facility
Memphis-based FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) opened a new FedEx Ground facility in Little Rock on Tuesday. The new 303,000-square-foot facility has about 175 employees. According to Arkansas Business, the facility has been under construction since February 2015 and can process about 15,000 packages an hour. During peak shipping times, employment could swell to as many as 250. Memphis Business Journal
Submitted 2 days ago

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Louisville underrated? Not anymore
Are we still underrated if we're on a list of the most underrated cities? I'm not sure about that, but Louisville is included in Condé Nast Traveler's list of the 18 most underrated cities in the U.S. The criteria are sort of loose: An underrated city can't have its own TV show, and it might have a good dining and microbrew scene, cultural attractions or "under-the-radar charm." Louisville comes in at No. 9, though it's not clear how they're ranked. The blurb with the spiffy 21c Museum Hotel photo says we have small-town warmth and big-city amenities. We've heard that before. But then it says we have "quirky annual events" — like everybody else doesn't have a dainty contest or a zombie walk! Business First
Submitted 2 days ago

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Commercial real estate pros tell us what they really think about the Louisville market
A panel of commercial real estate professionals feel Louisville is on the right track when it comes to development and job growth, but they pointed out a few ways in which the state and the city could better market themselves to companies and businesses during a frank discussion at the Ice House in downtown Louisville on Wednesday. The talk heated up when the topic turned to the state's zoning process and its tax structure, both of which were cited by developers as killing deals, stalling projects and forcing Louisville to miss out on potential company acquisitions. Business First
Submitted 2 days ago

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Jacksonville's 'Project Velo' could create 1,200 jobs on Jacksonville's Westside
An unnamed company that proposes to build a one-million-square-foot distribution center at Cecil Commerce Center has applied for economic incentives that would create 1,200 jobs. Project Velo is seeking incentives worth a total of $8.3 million with $7.1 million coming from city coffers. The majority of the incentives sought will be in the form of a recapture of enhanced value grant worth $6.7 million. The city would also provide a $200,000 training grant and 20 percent of a qualified target industry grant for the 325 jobs that would pay above $50,000, according to city legislation filed Wednesday afternoon. Jacksonville Business Journal
Submitted 2 days ago

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Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas discloses another round of Houston job cuts
Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX), which has been restructuring its Houston-based oil and gas arm, informed the Texas Workforce Commission of another round of local job cuts. In a Sept. 13 Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter to the TWC, Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas said it plans to cut 21 jobs at 717 Texas St. and two jobs at 700 Milam St. between Nov. 12 and 25. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 2 days ago

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These Houston energy companies could add more sublease space to the market
A recent report from Houston-based Transwestern breaks down the glut of office space sitting on Houston's sublease market – as well as space that could come online before 2017. The brokerage's report lists five energy tenants – some Houston-based – that could possibly add space to Houston's sublease market before the year's over. Most of these companies have had significant layoffs in the Houston area over the past few months. Rachel Andrae of Transwestern's research department said the list was compiled based on feedback from the brokerage community since Q1 2016. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 2 days ago

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Shell to vacate namesake downtown Houston tower
Six months after listing a whopping 350,000 square feet of downtown office space on the sublease market, Houston-based Shell Oil Co. is completely vacating its namesake downtown tower. Shell Oil, the U.S. arm of the Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A, RDS-B), announced Sept. 20 it will vacate One Shell Plaza and move those employees to the company's campuses in west Houston. Roughly 3,400 employees will move from the Central Business District to Shell's Woodcreek campus and its Shell Technology Center, the spokesperson said. The employees will move in the first quarter 2017. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 2 days ago

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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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