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Louisiana economy faces 'slow strangle' as oil prices fall, New York Times reports
Louisiana is better positioned today to handle falling oil prices than it was in the crash of the 1980s, but businesses around the state are still looking for ways to cut expenses, the New York Times reported Saturday (Jan. 31). The newspaper took a broad look falling oil prices effects on the state's economy, ranging from the drastic cuts being considered by the state government, to the challenges faced by oil industry companies in Louisiana that rely on business from companies in North Dakota or Texas, which have been hit even harder by the low prices. While Louisiana may be better off than those states, "that is not to say Louisiana will be spared the pain, only that it may be more of a slow strangle than a sudden jolt," the newspaper said. NOLA.com
Submitted 1 years 241 days ago

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Plans for Gulf Coast export facilities in doubt; La. projects have key advantages over others
Plummeting oil prices mean that two natural gas export projects in Cameron Parish that are already underway may be among the few such planned facilities in the U.S. that experts say will actually be built, potentially leaving $31 billion or more in other proposed Louisiana projects at risk of going undeveloped. Eleven proposed Louisiana projects are among more than three dozen U.S. liquefied natural gas export facilities for which developers have filed federal permit applications. The nine that have yet to break ground could all be at risk, experts say. “No matter how many permits the U.S. Department of Energy issues, probably no more than five or six LNG export plants will materialize in the United States through 2020,” Harvard researcher Leonardo Maugeri wrote in a December paper. At least one LNG project, in Texas, already has been delayed. The Advocate
Submitted 1 years 241 days ago

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Hatfields, McCoys team up to make ‘Drink of the Devil’
GILBERT, W.VA. — After generations of bootlegging, direct descendants of the Hatfields have teamed up with the McCoy name to produce legal moonshine in southern West Virginia with the state’s blessing – the start of a new legacy for the families made famous for their 19th-century feud. Production of “Drink of the Devil” has been in full swing at a distillery on original Hatfield land, bringing batches to the nation’s store shelves using the original recipe of family patriarch William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield. Overseen by Chad Bishop, husband of Hatfield’s great-great-great granddaughter, all the work is done by hand in a converted garage on a mountainside six miles from “Devil Anse” Hatfield’s gravesite. Kentucky.com
Submitted 1 years 241 days ago

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Data: Mississippi job growth essentially flat in '14
Mississippi may go from a near zero percent job growth in 2014 to the largest the state has seen in 15 years in 2016, if the state economist's forecast holds true. Mississippi is one of 11 states in the country that had job growth of less than 1 percent last year, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state ended last year with 1,120,300 people employed, up .02 percent from 2013, the BLS says. State economist Darrin Webb has forecast 1.5 percent growth in employment this year and in 2016. If this year's projection is met, Webb says it would be the largest such growth in Mississippi since 1999. Clarion-Ledger
Submitted 1 years 241 days ago

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Louisville Ford plant in line for aluminum truck
Ford Motor Co.'s billion-dollar gamble on manufacturing its full-size pickup trucks with aluminum alloy is about to bring big changes to Louisville's Kentucky Truck Plant. Although Ford executives have been guarded about revealing key details on the transition on Chamberlain Lane, they've acknowledged that converting F-250s and F-350s from steel to an aluminum body and truck bed will bring a significant capital infusion in the next year or two. "It's a major change," John Fleming, Ford's executive vice president of global manufacturing and labor affairs, said after a recent speech in Lexington. "This is a different method of putting the vehicle together." Ford confirmed last fall to investors that the Super Duty would be next after the launch of last November's mostly aluminum F-150 — a lighter, more fuel-efficient full-size truck. Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted 1 years 241 days ago

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It's official: Savannah harbor deepening underway
With a symbolic, echoing boom from the 1824 cannon atop Old Fort Jackson on Thursday morning, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially kicked off the long-awaited construction phase of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. More than 15 years in the making, the $706 million project known as SHEP will deepen the Savannah harbor and the associated shipping channel from an authorized depth of 42 feet to 47 feet to allow larger, more efficient container vessels to use the East Coast’s second busiest container harbor with fewer weight and tidal restrictions. Savannah Morning News
Submitted 1 years 241 days ago

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N.C. Megasite will face first test in public
GREENSBORO — A journey to 1,000 jobs begins with a baby step. A regional economic development agency is now walking through the delicate job of finding partners to help it buy at least 1,200 acres from dozens of owners in Randolph County with an eye toward developing a megasite that could lure a major auto manufacturer within two years. For nearly 20 years, North Carolina has longed for an auto plant, only to see projects go to Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama and other Southeastern states. Gov. Pat McCrory said in 2013 that the Triad has the best sites for an auto plant, the other being a site in Chatham County. That site’s advantage is that only two people own the entire 1,700 acres. Greensboro News & Record
Submitted 1 years 241 days ago

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Panelists: Cuba could help drive South Florida’s future
A new relationship with Cuba could lead to economic growth in South Florida. The potential for local companies to profit from trade with the island nation dominated the conversation at Thursday’s annual South Florida Economic Summit, hosted by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. But speakers also urged caution in dealing with a regime long known for human rights violations. Cuba’s most successful industries are the same ones that drive South Florida, including tourism, software and construction, said Carlos Saladrigas, a local businessman and chairman of the nonprofit Cuba Study Group, which supports engagement with the island. Miami Herald
Submitted 1 years 241 days ago

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Rite Aid shifting 600 jobs to Spartanburg County, S.C. facility
Rite Aid Corp. plans to build a 900,000-square-foot distribution center in Spartanburg County that will open in March 2016. The $90 million project is part of a consolidation move that includes planned shutdowns of distribution operations in Charlotte; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and Poca, W.Va. The Camp Hill, Pa. company said in a statement today that the project expected to create 600 jobs at the facility near Interstate 85 will “support the inventory and fulfillment needs of approximately 1,000 Rite Aid stores” in the Southeast. GSA Business
Submitted 1 years 241 days ago

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Could sequestration hit Hampton Roads again in 2016?
In 2013, defense budget cuts sent shivers through the Hampton Roads economy, and on Wednesday a Senate panel discussed the possibility of returning to those bad old days. If that happens, the military could see some of its most highly trained operatives, including Navy SEALS and fighter pilots, lose patience with lack of funding and leave the service for good, top leaders testified. Two years ago, across-the-board cuts under a process called sequestration led to furloughs of Defense Department civilians in Virginia and around the country. It led to canceling air shows at Langley Air Force Base and Oceana Naval Air Station and restricting training for area fighter pilots. Partly due to these cuts, the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman remained pier side in Norfolk instead of heading into a combat zone The topic was sadly familiar to senators at Wednesday's hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "And yet here we go again," said Sen. John McCain, the committee chairman. Daily Press
Submitted 1 years 241 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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