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Atlanta jobless rate posts rare May decline
The metro Atlanta unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent in May, as solid job growth soaked up most people entering the labor force in search of work, the state Labor Department reported Thursday. The drop, from 4.8 percent in April, pushed the metro rate to its lowest point since November 2007 and below the national rate for the first time since September of the same year. The decline also was notable because metro Atlanta’s jobless rate typically rises in May. The last time it dropped was 2002. AJC.com
Submitted 58 minutes ago

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Kentucky approves $3 million in incentives for General Motors plant expansion
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority on Thursday approved $3 million in tax incentives on a $154 million expansion of the General Motors plant in Bowling Green. The expansion is expected to create as many as 270 jobs with an average hourly wage of $21 including benefits. General Motors is planning the expansion of its Bowling Green plant to add new technologies and processes to meet increased customer demand, according to KEDFA documents. The Bowling Green plant makes the Chevrolet Corvette. GM had previously announced a $439 million investment in a paint shop and other plant upgrades. Kentucky.com
Submitted 1 hour ago

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin blasts Beshears in radio interview, defends his Medicaid plan
FRANKFORT -- Gov. Matt Bevin said Thursday that former Gov. Steve Beshear is “an embarrassment” to the state and his law firm and that his son, Attorney General Andy Beshear, opposes him because “it’s clearly genetic.” The Republican governor also vigorously defended his new Medicaid plan, taking issue with critics of it. Bevin’s comments came during a live interview Thursday morning with host Leland Conway on Louisville’s 840 WHAS radio show. Kentucky.com
Submitted 1 hour ago

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Port Canaveral reaches cargo deal on new cars from Mexico
Port Canaveral and AutoPort Inc. have reached a deal with a major automaker that will ship cars manufactured in Mexico to the port for distribution to markets throughout Florida. The first shipment is expected by the end of July, and there could be two auto carrier ships a month transporting these new cars to Port Canaveral. AutoPort is a Delaware-based auto processing company with facilities at Port Canaveral. Port officials said, under an agreement with the the automaker, they could not disclose the identity of the manufacturer until the shipments begin. Florida Today
Submitted 1 hour ago

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Arkansas sawmill to reopen; investors’ $50M effort to create 136 jobs
Caddo River Forest Products will invest $50 million to reopen a Glenwood sawmill, a move expected to create 136 jobs in the Pike County town. Owners of the company will receive a mix of state and federal incentives totaling $2.3 million to assist with reopening the former Curt Bean Lumber mill, which was last operational in 2010. The money will assist Caddo River Forest Products, an entity formed by Texas investors who own timberland in southwest Arkansas. Lumber production is scheduled to begin at the mill by spring. Arkansas Economic Development Commission Executive Director Mike Preston said the company will spend about $4 million in payroll annually. Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Submitted 1 hour ago

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Kronospan plant expanding, hiring up to 200 in Oxford, Ala.
Oxford's Kronospan plant is expanding, investing $362 million in a multi-phase plan which could result in hiring another 160 to 200 employees. Company officials today announced the plan along with Oxford city and Calhoun County economic officials in a press conference at City Hall. The company also said it plans to develop a "furniture cluster" which could attract other companies to the area engaged in furniture manufacturing. "The city, county and state all worked extremely well with us and it was an easy decision," said Tim Pack, Kronospan's chief financial officer. AL.com
Submitted 1 hour ago

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International law firm chooses site for Louisville offices with hundreds of jobs
An international law firm that announced months ago it would create a Louisville office and create hundreds of jobs has chosen a location for its newest global business services center. Hogan Lovells, a law firm headquartered in the United Kingdom and Washington, D.C., has signed a 10-year lease to become the anchor tenant at Paragon Place, an office complex at 9100 Shelbyville Road, off Whittington Parkway. Business First
Submitted 1 hour ago

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Economic development leaders talk Triangle's economic climate at TBJ Power Breakfast
One of the questions that Christopher Chung says he gets asked most often as CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, the privately-run business development arm working with the N.C. Department of Commerce: What keeps companies from choosing North Carolina for expansion? “That question is often preceded with a question of why South Carolina is kicking our butts so much,” Chung said, with chuckles from the audience at Triangle Business Journal's Power Breakfast on June 23. "They are definitely our archnemesis, no doubt.” Triangle Business Journal
Submitted 1 hour ago

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Are Charlotte-area hotels feeling pinch from HB 2 in latest occupancy figures?
Data released this week by STR Inc. reveals a positive trend in Charlotte's hotel sector so far this year. North Carolina's House Bill 2 has been a source of concern for many in the local hospitality industry as organizations have pulled their conventions from Charlotte hotels over the contentious "bathroom law" — though most of those cancelled events were planned for coming years. So far, the controversy surrounding the law, passed in late March, hasn't dampened occupancy levels at local lodging properties in April and May, according to figures compiled by STR, a data and analytics firm serving the hospitality industry. Charlotte Business Journal
Submitted 1 hour ago

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ESPN's Finebaum, sports editors latest to address HB 2
College football opinion-maker Paul Finebaum averted his gaze from the likes of Alabama’s Nick Saban and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer on Thursday in favor of pointed jabs aimed at Gov. Pat McCrory and House Bill 2, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and the pitfalls of print journalism. Finebaum, who moved to Charlotte in 2014 to start the ESPN-owned SEC Network, was the keynote speaker at the Associated Press Sports Editors’ national conference being held at an uptown hotel this week. Charlotte Business Journal
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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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