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U.S. Job Openings Remain at Historic Highs
The number of job openings in the U.S. was little changed in May, remaining at its highest level on record, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Job openings held steady at 5.4 million in May, the same as the previous month. The number of voluntary quits was also unchanged from a month earlier, at 2.7 million, according to Labor’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, known as Jolts. Another 1.7 million people were laid off or discharged in May, about the same as April and little changed over the past 12 months. Layoffs of government workers increased from a year earlier, while layoffs in the real estate sector declined. The Wall Street Journal
Submitted 1 years 231 days ago

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Memo to Fed: Let the Economy Overheat
The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday, with some trepidation, that it remains on track to raise interest rates later this year. Ordinarily, with unemployment now approaching levels associated with an economy at full strength, the case for raising rates would be open and shut: the Fed would not want unemployment to drop so far that the economy overheats and inflation takes off. But these are not ordinary times. An overheating economy right now would be welcome: It would help nudge inflation back to more normal levels, restore some of the long-term growth potential lost since the financial crisis, and boost ordinary workers’ wages more effectively than remedies such as big increase in the minimum wage, which can reduce employment for the low-skilled. While low rates may be fueling speculation in financial markets, that threat doesn’t yet outweigh the many benefits. The Wall Street Journal
Submitted 1 years 231 days ago

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IMF: U.S. Economy at Risk of Stalling Next Year if Fed Raises Rates Prematurely
WASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve risks stalling the U.S. economy by raising interest rates too early, the International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday as it detailed further its call for the central bank to delay a move until 2016. The IMF’s push for a delayed rate increase is at odds with the current signals Fed officials are sending for a move later in 2015. Last week’s job numbers bolstered the Fed’s plans to increase short-term rates in the months ahead. The Wall Street Journal
Submitted 1 years 231 days ago

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Massive $1B Facebook data center starts construction in North Fort Worth
Construction kicks off tomorrow in North Fort Worth on an almost $1 billion data center for social media giant Facebook. The project in the AllianceTexas development has been rumored for months. Fort Worth officials wouldn’t confirm who the huge data center was for, even after state documents pointed to Facebook. This afternoon Governor Greg Abbott’s office confirmed that the 110-acre data center project near Interstate 35W is for Facebook. Abbott’s office said he would be in North Fort Worth for the groundbreaking. Dallas Morning News
Submitted 1 years 231 days ago

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Charleston harbor deepening gets key funding
The South Carolina Ports Authority said it received $1.3 million in federal funding for harbor deepening in Charleston, allowing the preconstruction engineering and design phase of the 52-foot deepening effort to begin. The Charleston port is a vital shipping link for BMW's Greer plant and Greenville-based Michelin North America. "The allocation of federal funding for the PED phase of our deepening project is tremendous," said SCPA Board Chairman Bill Stern. Greenville News
Submitted 1 years 231 days ago

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Want to work for Ingalls Shipbuilding? Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard filling 2,500 positions within 18 months
Pascagoula, Miss.-based Ingalls Shipbuilding plans to hire more than 2,500 within the next 18 months and has partnered with the Alabama Career Center to meet demand. Fitzgerald Washington, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Labor, called the partnership a prime example of business and government "working together to improve lives in Alabama." AL.com
Submitted 1 years 231 days ago

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Auto supplier Yanfeng to invest $55 million in Chattanooga
Yanfeng Automotive Interiors officially unveiled plans today to invest $55 million into a Chattanooga facility to supply parts for Volkswagen's assembly plant and hire 325 people. "As the world's largest automotive interiors supplier, Yanfeng can locate anywhere in the world, and its decision to expand its global presence in Tennessee is another example of our state's competitiveness in the global marketplace," Gov. Bill Haslam said in a statement. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 1 years 231 days ago

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Brown & Root, formed by combining two firms, to call Baton Rouge home, employ 6,000 in U.S., Mexico, Canada
Bernhard Capital Partners will combine its newly acquired Wink Engineering firm with Houston-based KBR Inc.’s industrial services group to form Brown & Root Industrial Services in Baton Rouge. Under the deal announced Monday, Brown & Root will be based at Citiplace on Corporate Boulevard. Brown & Root Industrial Services, a company with about 6,000 employees around the world, will bring 25 executives to Baton Rouge by the end of this year and another 25 in 2016. Those 50 jobs will average $192,000 in annual salaries, state economic development officials said. The Advocate
Submitted 1 years 231 days ago

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Texas economy still pinched by low energy prices
Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index fell 2.7 percentage points in April to an index level of 98.5. Economists attributed the dip in the state’s economy to the dragging effect of low energy prices. “The Texas economy continues to feel the pull from lower oil prices,” said Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank. “Our Texas Economic Activity Index has now declined for six consecutive months, beginning in November of 2014. Fortunately, oil prices have been relatively stable near $60 per barrel for the last two months.” San Antonio Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 231 days ago

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Aetna plans to keep the Louisville-based Humana brand
Humana is being purchased, but the company's brand likely isn't going anywhere. "We expect to maintain the Humana brand," Aetna Inc. CEO Mark Bertolini said during an investor conference call this morning. That news comes after Friday's announcement that Louisville-based Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) has agreed to be purchased by Aetna (NYSE: AET) in a $37 billion deal. Bertolini said during the conference call that the merger creates a diversified organization and improves the company's ability to serve Medicare members. As we've reported, the combined company will put its Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare business headquarters in Louisville. Bertolini went so far as to say the company's employment in Louisville could grow as a result of the deal. Business First
Submitted 1 years 231 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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