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US economy looking good, Fed poised to hike rates: Harker
The U.S. economy is back to normal, the labor market is healthy again and inflation is headed higher, a hawkish Federal Reserve official said on Tuesday in repeating that he expects the Fed to raise interest rates three times this year. "Given the state of the economy, more or less back to normal, I continue to see three modest rate hikes of 25 basis points each as appropriate for 2017, assuming things stay on track," Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said in a speech that largely repeated recent comments on the economy and policy. CNBC
Submitted yesterday

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Together Louisiana protests Industrial Tax Exemption Program changes
Together Louisiana this morning protested rule changes the Board of Commerce and Industry will consider making to the Industrial Tax Exemption Program, and called for stricter rules on the incentive from the governor. Despite Gov. John Bel Edwards imposing new rules last year to rein in the ITEP, the state granted a record $4.9 billion to companies in 2016 through the incentive, according to an analysis from the nonprofit advocacy group. Edwards’ executive order tied the program to job creation and gave local governments a say in whether or not to approve ITEP applications. The state grants companies up to 10 years of property tax exemptions for capital projects via ITEP. Business Report
Submitted yesterday

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Optimism soars among Louisiana mid-sized business executives
Louisiana business executives feel are far more optimistic about the local and national economies and their companies than they did a year ago, according to the 2017 JPMorgan Chase & Co. Business Leaders Outlook report. The report, released Tuesday, shows 81 percent of Louisiana's middle market company executives felt optimistic about their company, 23 percent more than in 2016; 50 percent were optimistic about the local economy, an increase of 13 percent; and 86 percent were optimistic about the national economy, a 56 percent jump. The Advocate
Submitted yesterday

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Pros and cons of the Bayou Bridge pipeline
The US$670 million Bayou Bridge pipeline project has received both support and opposition. The 162 mile pipeline will transport crude oil from the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana to Gulf South refineries, crossing 11 parishes on its route. It’s said to bring economic benefit to the state, but also potentially cause damage to the environment. Read on to see the public’s pros and the cons of the project. Worldpipelines.com
Submitted yesterday

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Huge Louisiana pipeline project draws opposition
BAYOU SORREL — Down Louisiana 3066 and the Lower Grand River, past the middle of swampy nowhere, rests a cypress marsh hamlet of oyster shell roads, elevated houses, above-ground swimming pools and all manner of flat-bottom boats. This is where the geography maze of the Atchafalaya Basin unfolds in a breathtaking flat canvas of forest, wetlands and pockets of semi-navigable water. Houmatoday.com
Submitted yesterday

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Bradley Byrne: The 21st century workforce
A lot has changed since the 1930s. For example, in 1938, Franklin Roosevelt was President, and you could buy a loaf of bread for ten cents. Since then, the Internet was invented, more jobs are based in technology, and almost every American has a cell phone. Sadly, some of our nation’s most important labor laws, like the Fair Labor Standards Act, date back to the 1930s. One could argue that the needs of the workforce have changed a lot in just the last decade, but they have most certainly changed over the last eighty years. Altoday.com
Submitted yesterday

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Marcus Hiles - Praises Texas On Becoming the Strongest Labor Market Across the United States
Texas gained the momentum after officially adding 210,800 new jobs, as of December 17th, 2016 – the increase predominantly driven by a rise in oil prices and the distinct stabilization of the energy sector. Marcus Hiles, the dynamic CEO of Dallas real estate development firm Western Rim Property Services and one of the state's leading job creators, recently spoke out on the impressive growth of the Texas economy, and the state's return as the nation's leader of business, hospitality and most importantly, energy. Yahoo.com
Submitted yesterday

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Call center operator to add 600 jobs, on top of 800 previously announced
Global call center operator Alorica will add another 600 full-time jobs at its High Point customer engagement service office, augmenting 800 jobs that the company announced late last year that it would be adding there. N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced the jobs and applauded Alorica for the creation of 1,400 jobs, including benefits, at a Tuesday morning press conference. Triangle Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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Salad bar chain to enter Florida market with 35 stores planned
An Orlando-based company has signed an agreement to open 35 locations of the salad bar chain Salata in Southeast and Central Florida. Designer Salads LLC; owned by Nabeel, Sophia and Faisal Ansari; inked a deal with the Houston-based brand to open its first outposts in the Sunshine State. The Ansari family plans to debut the stores in Orlando and Miami by the end of 2017. They have not yet revealed other target cities for the expansion. Orlando Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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This is how much $100 is actually worth in every state
A gallon of gas varies from state to state. So does a cup of coffee and other consumer goods. This variation has to do with the real purchasing power of a dollar. Business Insider
Submitted yesterday

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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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