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Economist highlights wage weakness, growth in N.C.
North Carolina’s economy is accelerating, but the growth is focused on the higher and lower ends of the wage scale — and not in the middle — according to a new report by an N.C. State University economist. Michael Walden, in a report out this week, highlights some sharp challenges for the state as it heads into the second half of 2016. Walden wrote that North Carolina’s growth is accelerating, and the state had the 10th-fastest output gain among states in 2015. But, he cautioned, the gains are lower than historic standards and the growth is focused on the higher and lower ends of the spectrum. Charlotte Business Journal
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Austin job creation surges in June
In June, the Austin’s labor market produced yet another month of strong job creation, which in turn helped keep unemployment rates in check, according to data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The monthly report showed that the metro area job base continues to expand at a blistering pace, with local employers adding about 7,800 jobs in June, despite the usual drop in government jobs that accompanies the end of the school year. Metro area payrolls have ballooned by 38,400 jobs since June of last year, a 4 percent gain, according to commission data. Austin Statesman
Submitted yesterday

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Austin unemployment tied for lowest in state; Texas job growth sluggish
Although Austin’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly in June from May, the state capital, facing the tightest job market it's seen in years, is now tied with Amarillo for the lowest metro unemployment rate in the state. The Austin area recorded an unadjusted unemployment rate of 3.3 percent in June, up from 2.9 percent in May, but still lower than the 3.6 percent unemployment rate seen in June 2015. That ties the 3.3 percent rate in Amarillo, which for months had the lowest unemployment rate in the state. Over the past year, Austin’s combined labor force increased from 1.07 million workers in the region to 1.1 million workers. Austin Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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Here's how some Californians are trying to stop businesses from moving to Austin
Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council, revealed a new marketing campaign July 20 to highlight the youthful and educated Sacramento workforce for businesses that may consider locating there. The economic development organization's message is primarily targeted at Bay Area executives feeling squeezed by cost and other factors that diminish quality of life. Instead of relocating to Seattle or Austin, stay in sunny California, the pitch goes, and move to Sacramento where you can dramatically reduce expenses. Austin Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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How to increase diversity in Austin's tech sector, according to east-side accelerator
The lack of diversity among Austin's tech companies and investors is a major threat to businesses' bottom line in an increasingly diverse country, according to a new report examining what companies can do to foster diversity in their ranks. It is also one of the area's greatest opportunities, as Central Texas is positioned to become a leader on diversity initiatives and corporate programs. Austin Business Journal
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Georgia’s unemployment rate at 5.1% in June
Georgia’s unemployment rate has returned to a pre-Great Recession level. The Georgia Department of Labor reported the state’s unemployment rate in June was 5.1 percent, down from 5.3 percent in May. “We haven’t seen unemployment this low in Georgia since the beginning of the Great Recession in December 2007,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “In June, our employers created 11,400 jobs, hired more people and laid off fewer workers. In addition, our labor force continues to grow.” Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted yesterday

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'Without NAFTA, we would be out of business'
Rich Turner is no fan of globalization. But he also benefits from it. As a senior manager of one of America's last denim manufacturing plants, Turner has had to cut his workforce by more than half in the past decade as competition from abroad ate into his profits. So is Turner excited the idea of a "President Trump" tearing up NAFTA? Not at all: The free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada is key to his company's survival — and for the 2,700 workers at the plant in Mauldin, S.C. Turner exports 85% of his denim duty-free to Mexico to be cut and sewn into jeans, which are then shipped back to the United States to be sold. CNN Money
Submitted yesterday

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America's biggest oil boom came under Obama
Harold Hamm, a shale oil billionaire, gave a speech on Wednesday night at the GOP Convention arguing that Trump will become the first president to achieve American energy independence. "President Obama chose not to get it, and he has tried to destroy this renaissance and all of its benefits," Hamm said in Cleveland. But the numbers tell a different story. Believe it or not, Obama has presided over the biggest increase in oil production in American history, even if he can't take direct credit for it all. CNN Money
Submitted yesterday

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What if There Just Aren’t Enough Jobs to Go Around?
Despite steady job growth over the past six years, the U.S. labor market—by some accounts—has become a stagnant place where fewer people switch jobs and workers linger in the same roles for longer. Recent research exploring the causes of this declining labor-market dynamism has focused on supply restrictions, such as state-based occupational licensing regimes, which make it harder for licensed workers to relocate across state borders, or prohibitively high rents in job-rich cities, which impede mobility. The Wall Street Journal
Submitted yesterday

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U.S. Existing-Home Sales Climb to Strongest Rate in Nearly a Decade
WASHINGTON—Sales of previously owned homes rose to their strongest pace in nearly a decade in June, buoyed by low mortgage rates and an improving economy. The pace of existing home sales increased 1.1% last month from May to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.57 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. That puts them at their highest level since February 2007. Sales for May were revised to 5.51 million from an initially reported 5.53 million. The Wall Street Journal
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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