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Figures show W.Va. coal jobs up under Obama
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As West Virginia political leaders prepare for another round of attacks on the Obama administration's coal policies, state data show the number of mining jobs is at its highest level in nearly 20 years. Figures from multiple government agencies reflect the job increases between 2009 and last year, offering a starkly different picture than is frequently portrayed by industry officials and coalfield political leaders. "Any way you look at it, coal mining employment is at a two-decade high," said researcher Ted Boettner, who recently analyzed the figures for a blog published by his group, the West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy. Charleston Gazette
Submitted 2 years 103 days ago

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Cotton Rises in Arkansas
This fall, Republicans hope to claim Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District, one of the few Democratic redoubts in the South. Six-term incumbent Mike Ross is retiring, and the state legislature has redrawn the district’s lines to incorporate more Republican-friendly territory. In other words, it’s ripe for a pickup. And newcomer Tom Cotton may be just the man to win it. The Republican primary has been a hard-fought contest between the 2010 GOP nominee, Beth Anne Rankin, and Cotton, an Iraq War veteran. But in the latest Talk-Business–Hendrix College poll, Cotton has posted an 18-point lead, 51–33, over Rankin. A third candidate, John Cowart, earns only 6 percent. If Cotton wins over 50 percent of the vote, he’ll secure the nomination; if Rankin holds him under that threshold, the race will go to a runoff. The National Review
Submitted 2 years 103 days ago

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Think Tanks Push ALEC to Go After Unions
Much of the recent controversy surrounding the American Legislative Exchange Council has focused upon the way it brings together its key members, major corporations and state legislators, to craft legislation behind closed doors. Largely unnoticed has been the influence wielded by a third group of ALEC members: think tanks. Two of those state-level think tanks took center stage at last weekend's ALEC Task Force Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute and the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy successfully shepherded five model bills through ALEC's Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task force—all targeting public sector unions. Mother Jones
Submitted 2 years 103 days ago

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Texas unemployment lowers to 6.9 percent
Texas enjoyed continued comfortable job growth in April and unemployment in Texas cities fell dramatically as North Texas, Austin and especially Houston saw solid job growth. Texas unemployment dropped fell to 6.9 percent, down from 7 percent in March, as employers in the state added a net 13,200 jobs, according to the measure from the Texas Workforce Commission, adjusted for seasonal flucturations. In North Texas, using figures not adjusted for seasonal variations, unemployment dropped to 6.5 percent in Dallas-Fort Worth Arlington statistical area, down from 7.5 in March with the addition of 5,600 jobs. Houston unemployment fell to 6.5 percent, down from 7.8 percent in March and with the addiion of 23,000 jobs. Austin added 9,100 workers and unemployment fell to 5.5 percent, down from 6.3 in March. Dallas Morning News
Submitted 2 years 103 days ago

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Alabama unemployment rate hits four-year low
The automotive industry has helped drive Alabama to its lowest unemployment rate in nearly four years. Preliminary figures released Friday show that the state jobless rate sank to 7.2 percent in April, down from March’s adjusted 7.4 percent total. The last time the figure was this low was November 2008. Officials pointed to the state’s booming manufacturing industry as one of the reasons. “I think we are getting to a point where we are seeing many areas of the economy improving,” Gov. Robert Bentley said in a release. “For example, the automotive base in Alabama is increasingly strong. Just yesterday, we announced Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama will be expanding its production facility in Huntsville.” Montgomery Advertiser
Submitted 2 years 103 days ago

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Arkansas Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.2 Percent
Arkansas' unemployment rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point from 7.4 percent in March to 7.2 percent in April, according to a report Friday from the Department of Workforce Services. "The number of employed Arkansans increased for the ninth straight month," DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman said in a news release. "Higher employment in April contributed to the decrease in the unemployment rate. Compared to a year ago, there are 30,700 more employed Arkansans" The report said Arkansas' civilian labor force increased by 500, to 1.39 million. Arkansas Business
Submitted 2 years 103 days ago

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Housing affordability hits new record -- if you can qualify for a loan
Nationwide housing affordability hit a new record high in the first three months of this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. The affordability record was also broken during the previous quarter. According to the Housing Opportunity Index, 77.5 percent of all new and existing homes that were sold during first quarter of this year were affordable to families who earned the national median income of $65,000. During the last quarter of 2011, 75.9 percent of homes sold were affordable to people who earned the median income. Times-Picayune
Submitted 2 years 103 days ago

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Sales of Volkswagen's Chattanooga-made Passat to set new U.S. record
Sales of Volkswagen's Chattanooga-made Passat are expected to blow by the model's 11-year-old high mark and set a new U.S. record in 2012, an official said Thursday. "So that would be a big milestone," said Carsten Krebs, Volkswagen of America's corporate communications director. Through April, Passat sedan sales hit 34,635 units. The current all-time high is 77,523 in 2001, according to VW. "The car is the right size, priced correctly for the U.S. market now and we offer the only [clean diesel] model in this segment," Krebs said. In redesigning the Passat to fit American tastes, VW made the car bigger and lowered the base price by about $7,000, to $19,995. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 2 years 103 days ago

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Groundbreaking set for Wentzville, Mo. GM expansion
General Motors will break ground Monday on the automaker's $380 million assembly plant expansion in Wentzville that was announced in November. The expansion will make way for GM's new Chevrolet Colorado mid-sized pickup. Currently, Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans are made at the facility. GM executives announced in November that the next generation Colorado will be built in Wentzville, adding 1,260 jobs. GM plans to build a half-million square foot addition to its existing 3.7 million plant. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted 2 years 103 days ago

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April Miss. jobless rate falls as labor force dips
(AP) JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi's jobless rate dropped in April, mainly because fewer people are looking for jobs. The state's unemployment rate fell to 8.7 percent in April from 9 percent in March, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's the lowest level since March 2009, and significantly below the state's 10.6 percent jobless rate in April 2011. The number of unemployed Mississippians fell to 116,300, down from 120,800 in March and from 141,600 a year ago. Biloxi Sun-Herald
Submitted 2 years 103 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     
By Mike Randle
There are numerous factors driving the new industrial revolution in the South. And it is a revolution, as this manufacturing surge that began in 2007 continues to break records year after year in the total number of large, capital intensive projects. One factor, of course, is that reshoring of facilities back to the U.S. continues to grow each year.
 
 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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