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Construction’s impact on economy especially high in Louisiana, boosted by petrochemical activity
A new study that analyzed the economic impact of private construction on state economies found that Louisiana ranked second overall in terms of how much the industry contributes to the gross domestic product. According to the report released Tuesday by Associated Builders & Contractors Inc., a national trade organization, private construction accounted for 5.8 percent of all economic activity in Louisiana during 2014. Only North Dakota, where construction contributed 5.9 percent to the state GDP, ranked higher. Construction accounted for 3.7 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2014. The Advocate
Submitted 1 years 224 days ago

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Global firm hired to market idled Avondale shipyard facility, recognizes facility's 'significance'
Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Avondale shipyard facility outside of New Orleans is being marketed by Colliers International Group Inc. Until earlier this year, Huntington Ingalls had a been in a joint venture effort with energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan to pursue a commercial manufacturer in the then-booming oil and gas industry. The facility had been used most recently for the construction of U.S. Navy ships and is designed for light and heavy manufacturing. Operations ceased in late 2014, and a maintenance crew has remained onsite to maintain the facility and its assets. The Advocate
Submitted 1 years 224 days ago

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North Carolina incentives bill moves through state Senate on fast track
It took only about 20 minutes of debate before the N.C. Senate approved an incentives and sales tax revision this afternoon. The vote was 34-12 in favor and happened as the Senate returned into session this afternoon. But it took six months for the Job Development Investment Grant program to get to this stage. Until last week, the compromise bill — HB 117 — languished in committee in the Senate. It was approved in the state House on March 5. The bill revamps and updates the state incentives plan. It also moves forward a major change in how sales taxes are distributed among counties. Charlotte Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 224 days ago

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Report: Durham, N.C. is No. 2 best college town in U.S.
Durham is the second-best college town in the U.S., according to a new report by Livability.com. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Esri, Liveability looked for cities with a high concentration of schools, a highly educated population and a high population of 25- to 29-year-olds as an indicator of the ability to retain young adults after graduation. Rental housing and its affordability were also factors, and bonus points were given to cities with Division I athletics. Triangle Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 224 days ago

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Guess who's the top meeting destination in America?
We know all of you are going to be shocked at this announcement: Orlando is the top meeting destination in the United States, according to a new report from Cvent Inc. The McLean, Va.-based company (NYSE: CVT) reported it evaluated more than 5,000 U.S. cities featured on the Cvent Supplier Network to compile the fourth annual list. “Orlando reclaimed the top spot on the 2015 list, a position the city last held in 2013,” the company reported. “Las Vegas climbed one spot on the ranking compared to last year, while Chicago dropped two places from number one in 2014 to round out the top three.” Orlando Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 224 days ago

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Why UCF's 81% jump in tech grads still isn't good enough for Orlando's job demand
As local companies create more jobs for skilled software engineers and developers, so does the need for local universities to supply that demand with qualified graduates. Data from the University of Central Florida shows that its computer science program awarded 165 undergraduates with degrees in the 2014-2015 school year — an 81 percent increase from the 91 degrees awarded four years ago in 2010-2011.UCF's computer engineering program awarded 54 undergraduate degrees in 2014-2015, up 20 percent from 45 degrees four years ago. Orlando Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 224 days ago

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Two new Elvis statues unveiled in Tupelo
In honor of Elvis week, two new statues of the King were unveiled in Tupelo this weekend. The two new statues are created by sculptor Michiel VanderSommen. The two statues “Elvis, the Boy” and “Elvis, the Entertainer” were shown at Elvis' birthplace in Tupelo on Saturday. The statue of Elvis as a boy shows an 11-year-old Elvis sitting on a milk crate with a guitar in his lap. Memphis Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 224 days ago

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Memphis Grizzlies owner's company swindled out of $46 million
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, Ubiquiti Networks ( Nasdaq: UBNT), the company owned by Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera, reported a fraud of more than $46 million. In an 8-K, Ubiquiti says that in early June the company discovered it was the victim of a criminal fraud. Someone impersonating an employee targeted the company's finance department, an action that "resulted in transfers of funds aggregating $46.7 million held by a Company subsidiary incorporated in Hong Kong to other overseas accounts held by third parties." Memphis Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 224 days ago

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Good news for employers: Kentucky's unemployment fund is back in the black
Kentucky's unemployment insurance trust fund has a positive balance for the first time since January 2009, according to a news release from Gov. Steve Beshear's office. The state has paid off a $972 million loan from the federal government that it took out to meet unemployment insurance benefits during the recent recession. The release said the loan was paid off two years ahead of schedule. Business First
Submitted 1 years 224 days ago

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Eagle Ford rig count stays below 100 two weeks in a row
New drilling activity will stay at six-year lows in the Eagle Ford shale, where the number of oil rigs remains below 100 for two weeks in a row. Figures from the Baker Hughes rig count released on Aug. 7 showed that new drilling in the Eagle Ford remains flat at 98 active rigs. The figures mark the second week in a row that the rig count is below 100. The figures come at a time when West Texas Intermediate crude oil is trading below $45 per barrel. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 224 days ago

 

 

 

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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