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Alabama's film incentives questioned
In 2009, Alabama followed the lead of about 40 other states and began a program that would give producers big rebates for filming their movies, TV shows and even their commercials here. Since then, film companies have spent $87.3 million in the state, and the state has returned $22.6 million in rebates, according to information from the Alabama Film Office. But opponents of the incentive program have started questioning whether Alabama is winning in this game, while those in favor believe the industry can bring money, jobs and tourism. Dothan Eagle
Submitted 1 years 342 days ago

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Why an Indictment Could Be a Blessing for Perry
August 18, 2014 After the schadenfreude surrounding news of Rick Perry's indictment subsided on Friday night, America awoke this weekend to a general consensus that the case against the Texas governor was overblown. Obama adviser David Axelrod deemed it "sketchy," Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz dubbed it "outrageous," and MSNBC's Tim Noah tweeted, "I'm no fan of Rick Perry & I'm no lawyer. But this indictment looks pretty thin to me." After a close read of the situation, New York magazine's Jon Chait summed it up thusly: "Perry may not be much smarter than a ham sandwich, but he is exactly as guilty as one." The National Journal
Submitted 1 years 342 days ago

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Mississippi Power's Kemper County plant operational using natural gas
JACKSON, Mississippi -- Mississippi Power Co. says a key part of its $5.5 billion Kemper County power plant is operational. The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. announced Thursday that it has put three power generating turbines into commercial operation burning natural gas piped to the east Mississippi plant. It comes even as Mississippi Power completes the permanent fuel source, a part of the plant that will turn lignite coal into synthetic gas. Vice President of Generation Development Bob Huggins said starting the turbines now is required by accounting rules and will allow Mississippi Power to capture tax benefits while providing power to customers. "It's ready to serve the customers, it is a low-cost energy source for our customers, we have the summertime peak season demand that it's supporting, plus we'll capture its share of the tax benefits," Huggins said in a phone interview. Mississippi Press
Submitted 1 years 342 days ago

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Mississippi jobless rate rises in July, remains highest in the nation
JACKSON, Mississippi -- Mississippi's unemployment rate continued to go in the wrong direction in July, remaining the highest in the nation. The jobless rate rose to 8 percent in July, the third straight monthly increase, as the number of people reporting they had a job fell faster than the labor force. Mississippi's unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in June, but was below the 8.7 percent rate of July 2013. A separate survey showed employer payrolls rose slightly. Mississippi Press
Submitted 1 years 342 days ago

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Tenn. and Miss. may tussle over Cummins facility
MEMPHIS – Mississippi may be trying to lure another distribution warehouse across the state line from Memphis. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell told The Commercial Appeal that local and state officials in Tennessee are preparing incentives to retain a facility run by diesel engine maker Cummins Inc. A number of distribution centers and factories have moved into Mississippi's DeSoto and Marshall counties in recent years. Mississippi can offer income tax breaks, property tax breaks, training money and cash inducements, while Tennessee relies on local property tax reductions and state-level training grants. Memphis Mayor A. C. Wharton would not confirm specifics Thursday. "But it's no secret that we're always in head-to-head competition that grows more intense every day with other states and cities and of course Mississippi is one of those," Wharton said. Jackson Clarion Ledger
Submitted 1 years 342 days ago

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Louisiana-built, three-wheel Elio gets closer to going on sale
Your next commuter car could have two seats, three wheels and get 84 miles to the gallon. Elio Motors wants to revolutionize U.S. roads with its tiny car, which is the same length as a Honda Fit but half the weight. With a starting price of $6,800, it's also less than half the cost. Phoenix-based Elio plans to start making the cars next fall at a former General Motors plant in Shreveport. Already, more than 27,000 people have reserved one. Elio hopes to make 250,000 cars a year by 2016. That's close to the number Mazda sells in the U.S. Shreveport Times
Submitted 1 years 342 days ago

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La. gains 31,800 jobs in 1 year
Nonfarm employment reached a state record 1,981,300 in July, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported in preliminary numbers Monday. That was a gain of 31,800 over nonfarm employment a year earlier, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. State employment records also were set in July for the construction (139,300); professional and business services (214,000); education and health services (296,600); as well as leisure and hospitality (222,600) sectors, LWC officials reported. The Advocate
Submitted 1 years 342 days ago

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Arkansas unemployment at 6.2 percent in July
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in July, according to labor statistics released Monday. The state Department of Workforce Services said a month ago that 6.2 percent was the state jobless rate for June, but on Monday it said the June rate was later revised to 2.3 percent, so the July rate represents a decline of one-tenth of a percentage point. Arkansas’ unemployment rate last month was significantly lower than the July 2013 rate of 7.7 percent. Arkansas News Bureau
Submitted 1 years 342 days ago

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Bourbon production reaches high point since ‘70s
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — Kentucky bourbon makers are making a big bet by stashing away their largest stockpiles in more than a generation. To put it in bartenders’ lingo: Distillers are putting up the tab for millions of rounds of bourbon years before they are even ordered. The production poses an inherent risk, but hitting the moment right — a big supply meshing with big demand — could mean a serious payday for companies big and small. Missing the target would leave bourbon makers awash with supply and leave future production in question, particularly for craft distilleries that have seen a surge in popularity. “People keep asking us, ‘When will the bubble burst?’” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. For most in the business, the answer is not anytime soon. The Washington Post
Submitted 1 years 342 days ago

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California offers tax credits for aerospace as it battles Florida for jobs
California lawmakers are working hard to ensure Northrop Grumman Corp., or team made up of the Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., keep a giant share of work, expected to result from an upcoming Pentagon stealth bomber contract, on the West Coast. Consider it part of California's version of "Project Magellan." California Gov. Jerry Brown has on his desk legislation for a massive state tax credit - $420 million - intended to help create thousands for aerospace projects, like the ones that would come from the estimated $55 billion stealth bomber contract. That bomber project has been linked to "Project Magellan" – an expansion by Northrop Grumman at Melbourne International Airport that could bring hundreds of new jobs to Brevard County that pay an average annual wage of $100,000. Florida Today
Submitted 1 years 342 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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