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The many ‘yes, buts’ of the Obama economy
President Obama's speech Tuesday was his last State of the Union before the jockeying for 2016 gets into full swing. Part of his goal, it's clear, was to draw a line in the sand on his accomplishments over the past six years, particularly in regards to the economy. And, because of politics, Obama's claims were quickly met with a series of "yes, but" responses — with varying levels of credibility. Let's look at them. The Washington Post
Submitted 1 years 243 days ago

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Unit of Mechanics Union Sues Fort-Worth-based American Airlines
A mechanics union at American Airlines Group Inc. has filed a lawsuit alleging that managers pressured its members to breach federal rules on aircraft maintenance, including for wing cracks and inspections for suspected lightning strikes—claims that could complicate a crucial year for the world’s largest carrier in its merger integration. The Federal Aviation Administration said it is investigating the allegations, which were originally detailed in two federal whistleblower complaints filed in recent months by six American mechanics in Chicago and one in Dallas. Leaders of the Transport Workers Union Local 591 sued American in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on Thursday, claiming the company intimidated union representatives from aiding the FAA’s investigation. The Wall Street Journal
Submitted 1 years 243 days ago

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The state of the unions: Membership is up, but density still drops
What's interesting about this is that union membership actually went up last year, with 41,000 new union members in the private sector and 8,000 in public. But the number of people working increased much more than that. The long-term trend has been that union membership in the public sector -- meaning government employees -- has grown, while private sector membership has dropped. Since the end of the recession, though, that was flipped, with 300,000 more private-sector union employees and 400,000 fewer in the public sector. That's a function of the recent decline in government employment. The number of union members in each sector has been about the same since 2011. African-American workers continue to be more likely to be members of unions than white workers, who are more likely to be union members than Hispanics. The Washington Post
Submitted 1 years 243 days ago

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No, the U.S. economy isn’t about to fall into recession
Predictions are hard, especially about the future, but they're a little bit easier if you look at the yield curve. Well, most of the time, at least. Now let's back up a minute. The yield curve is just a line showing how much it costs the government to borrow from the very short to the very long-term. And it's also the best way to predict recessions. Why? Well, think about where long-term interest rates come from. They're the average of what markets expect short-term interest rates will be, plus a little extra to make up for the fact that something unexpected could happen. The longer the bond, the bigger that extra bit is, which, in part, is why the yield curve tends to be positive: shorter bonds usually have lower interest rates than longer ones. The Washington Post
Submitted 1 years 243 days ago

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United Furniture to open manufacturing facility in Verona, Miss.
VERONA, Miss. (WTVA) -- The former Lane Furniture facility in Verona will soon be home to a different furniture manufacturer. United Furniture Industries is expanding its reach in Mississippi by locating its manufacturing operations at the site. The project represents a $2.75 million corporate investment and will create at least 200 new jobs. United Furniture currently maintains operations in Amory, Hatley, Nettleton, Okolona and Vardaman. The company’s decision to purchase the Verona facility is due to an increase in demand and production. WTVA.com
Submitted 1 years 243 days ago

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Atlanta to see high demand for manufacturing and office jobs in 2015
Following a positive trend in 2014, many economists and reports suggest the U.S. economy and job market are positioned to yield steady growth in 2015. According to Atlanta-based Randstad US' Hot Jobs report, jobs within the manufacturing and logistics and office and administration industries will be in high demand in Atlanta for 2015. "With the overall rate of unemployment improving nationwide, the ripple effect into the Atlanta job market is apparent, and the recruiting environment is becoming increasingly more competitive," Kim Brown, Randstad's senior vice president in Georgia, said in a statement. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 1 years 243 days ago

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Low oil prices result in sluggish Texas manufacturing activity
As oil prices continue to nosedive, Texas manufacturing activity has stalled and optimism is withering. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' manufacturing survey for January shows that the state's output stayed the same from December, but shipments plunged from 20.8 to 6 on the survey's index. New orders to manufacturing companies also plunged from 2.7 to minus 7.7 on the index, the first negative reading since April 2013. As a result, the Fed's index of future general business activity fell from 13 to minus 6.4 and the index of future company outlook plunged from 21.8 to 2.5. That uncertainty is not a good indicator for Texas, which produces 11 percent of total manufactured goods across the country. Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 243 days ago

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Things Are Bad In Texas
The crash in oil prices is weighing on Texas' economy. The January Texas manufacturing survey from the Dallas Fed was a huge miss, with the general business activity reading coming in at -4.4. Expectations were for the composite index to come in at 3.0, down from 4.1 in December. Factory activity in the region was flat in January. The big takeaway, however, is that as with last month, numerous business executives expressed concerns over how the crash in crude oil prices would affect results. BusinessInsider.com
Submitted 1 years 243 days ago

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Spill trial: BP makes its case for lower pollution fines
HOUSTON — Oil giant BP said it will freeze most of its employees pay in 2015, after a collapse in crude prices has left oil companies scrambling to cut costs. The announcement came today in an internal message to employees, said BP spokesman Brett Clanton in an emailed statement. “BP has today informed staff that we intend to freeze base pay across the company,” he said, “Together, with the work we are doing to simplify and increase efficiency throughout BP, we see this as a prudent response to the currently challenging market environment in which BP operates.” FuelFix.com
Submitted 1 years 243 days ago

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Sticker shock—Stock valuations at 10-year high
It may not feel like it, but stocks are actually more expensive than they've been since 2005. Still, most investors say that shouldn't be a huge cause for concern. The S&P 500's price-to-earnings ratio, which compares the price of the S&P to analyst projections of what S&P companies will earn over the next 12 months, has risen to 16.6, according to FactSet. Not only is that above historical norms, but it is the highest that metric has been since March of 2005. What's unusual is that stocks have gotten more expensive in terms of valuation, even as the market itself has been relatively stagnant: The S&P has logged only mild losses on the year through Friday's close. CNBC
Submitted 1 years 243 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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