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Good sign for Austin's economy: soaring auto sales
In another piece of good economic news for the Austin area, new vehicle sales surged in July, a development that auto dealers and economists say reflects a growing confidence among area consumers. Sales of new vehicles by local dealers rocketed up 39.3 percent in July compared with the same month in 2011, an industry survey shows. The huge leap comes after sales jumped 27.2 percent in June and 15.2 percent in May. Area dealers sold 9,191 new vehicles last month, compared with 6,600 in July 2011, according to data from the Freeman Auto Report, a Dallas-based firm that tracks new-car registrations. Austin American-Statesman
Submitted 2 years 126 days ago

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Employment in Developing Countries Continues to Gradually Recover
In a sample of middle-income countries, employment growth continued its steady recovery despite moderate output growth. Figure 1 shows median growth rates for output, employment, and wages as well as the median unemployment rate for 12 middle- income countries. Gross domestic product (GDP) continued to grow at a respectable pace of 4.6 percent in the first quarter of 2012, even with the threat of financial and fiscal deterioration in parts of the European Union. This continued economic growth helped to sustain a 2.9 percent growth in employment in the first quarter of 2012, along with modest wage growth. The World Bank
Submitted 2 years 126 days ago

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Globalization: The Economic Structural Changes Continue
True, during the summer months in the United States "globalization" -- and the economic and social changes that it has propelled -- is not exactly the most popular topic of discussion for many Americans, who invariably are more interested in learning what the weather may be like at their vacation locale at the beach or near a lake. But discuss globalization, we must. Globalization -- basically, free markets and the transfer of jobs to lower-cost labor/production centers -- has lifted more than 1 billion people out of poverty, and united nations, peoples, and cultures. However, globalization -- at least in its initial stage -- also contains a contradiction that, in time, could undermine not only the uniting of markets, but trade and global GDP growth itself. International Business Times
Submitted 2 years 126 days ago

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The Growing Skills Gap
Ever since the start of the Great Recession, the one word that has dominated economic reports from the developed world is ‘unemployment’. Millions have been laid off or prematurely retired, and rates of joblessness have reached levels not seen since the Great Depression. What has been ignored is the paradox that all over the world, and not just in the richer nations, millions of jobs have remained unfilled because of the lack of skilled workers. While this shortage highlights the challenge faced by countries being buffeted by the financial crisis, it also points to deeper problems. BusinessWorld
Submitted 2 years 126 days ago

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Wind Power Tax Credit: White House Is Hopeful For Renewal In 2012
WASHINGTON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - The White House is hopeful Congress will renew a $12 billion tax credit for wind power production, a senior Obama administration official said, as a government report warned that thousands of U.S. jobs would be lost if the incentive runs out. "You can expect to see this will be a top priority for the administration," a senior White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters about the so-called Production Tax Credit, or PTC, in a teleconference on the report released Tuesday by the Energy Department. The Huffington Post
Submitted 2 years 126 days ago

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American Greetings Adding 125 Workers at Osceola, Ark.
American Greetings of Cleveland is adding 125 workers at its Osceola plant, according to Clif Chitwood, executive director of the Great River Economic Development Foundation. The jobs will be for the card's new line that allows customers to design a card online, have it printed at the Osceola plant and returned to the customer within 24 hours, he said. The service has "been a big hit for them," Chitwood said. "It's really taken off." The line started out with only 10 part-time workers, he said. The jobs will pay between $16 and $20 an hour, Chitwood said. Arkansas Business
Submitted 2 years 126 days ago

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Walgreens chooses Shoals, Ala. for call center expansion
State and local officials are expected to announce today an expansion of Walgreens Customer Care Center in Muscle Shoals, a move that could create up to 350 additional jobs, officials said Tuesday. Walgreens built a call center operation in 2004 at Southgate Mall. The facility processes customers’ prescriptions and sends them to pharmacies where they are filled. Walgreens has nearly 250 workers on site now. Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford confirmed “a significant jobs announcement” will be made at 2 p.m. today at City Hall. He added the announcement involves Walgreens’ operation in the city. “They’re expanding, and we’re delighted they have chosen Muscle Shoals,” Bradford said. Times-Daily
Submitted 2 years 126 days ago

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Alabama, Austal strike new job training pact
MOBILE, Alabama -- Gov. Robert Bentley today announced a $5 million project agreement between the state and Austal USA that will help the shipbuilder add up to 1,000 full-time jobs in Mobile. The Phase V Agreement, a five-year project that will help Austal continue its workforce expansion, will provide employee training services from the Alabama Industrial Training program. Austal currently employs about 3,000 people to build Joint High Speed Vessels and littoral combat ships for the U.S. Navy. Under a current project agreement, that number is expected to grow by an additional 600. Once the Phase V Agreement is complete, Austal expects to have 4,600 employees in Mobile. Mobile Press-Register
Submitted 2 years 126 days ago

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2nd agency cuts Mississippi Power's credit rating
JACKSON -- Lower credit ratings may be causing Mississippi Power to pay more to borrow money.Moody's Investors Service became the second credit rating agency to downgrade Mississippi Power last week, days before the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. returned to the bond market to borrow $200 million. The company borrows money frequently as a normal part of its business. Some proceeds will go toward the $4.8 billion power plant the company is building in Kemper County.Jeff Shepard, a Mississippi Power spokesman, said Tuesday the company paid a slightly higher interest rate than it had planned when it sold bonds Monday. He said that may have resulted from a combination of the downgrades and competition with other utilities selling bonds the same day. Biloxi Sun-Herald
Submitted 2 years 126 days ago

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Miss. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves discusses Port of Gulfport
GULFPORT -- Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said he's been surprised and frustrated at a lack of progress and communication on rebuilding and expansion of the Port of Gulfport, but he still believes the port "has significant opportunity for growth, if done properly.""We are beginning to get very interested in it," said Reeves, who noted the Legislature has had little oversight or input into port planning and operations. Most of that is handled, he said, by the Port Commission and Mississippi Development Authority, which answers to the governor. Biloxi Sun-Herald
Submitted 2 years 126 days ago

 

 

 

Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

The America South is home to almost as many residents as the Northeast and the Midwest combined, but even that statistical record is about to be broken. According to a new Census Bureau study that came out in April, 51 percent of the nation's population jump occurred in the South from 2010 to 2013.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Stacy Randle
Demographer Wendell Cox recently analyzed the largest gains in holders of bachelor's and post-graduate degrees between 2007 and 2012 in the 51 metro regions in the U.S. of 1 million residents or more. The results were published in Forbes magazine and the South dominated the ranking.
 

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

FEATURE     
This is our annual "Made in the South" issue and it's timely because there is a new player in the South's manufacturing universe. For almost two decades, economic developers and politicos in the South and the U.S. have been chasing Chinese projects with little or nothing to show. Want proof we've been chasing ghosts in China for years? Okay, go ahead and name a Chinese brand that's made in the South? Tick. . .tick. . .tick. Give up?
 
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean

We try to change up the categories in our annual Ten Top 10s section, but we always include the "Ten People Who Made a Difference" category. This year though, we are honoring 12 and you will learn why by reading about this group of folks who have made a difference in the South. Here is our annual list that includes executives, economic developers and politicians who have made a difference in the South's economy.


 


 

 

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