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Study: Georgia opting out of Medicaid expansion carries heavy price tag
Georgia would lose $33.7 billion during the next decade by not expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to a nonprofit social and economic research organization. The Washington, D.C-based Urban Institute released a study Monday examining the potential impacts of not expanding Medicaid in the 24 states that have opted out of the expansion since a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision on Obamacare gave states that choice. Only Florida – with its huge senior-citizen population – Texas, North Carolina and Pennsylvania would lose more federal funds by opting out of Medicaid expansion than Georgia. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 2 years 116 days ago

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Georgia chamber calls for end to off-shore drilling ban
Continuing a federal ban on drilling off the Atlantic seaboard would cost up to 280,000 jobs and $23.5 billion a year in economic activity, the head of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce warned in a recent letter. Chris Clark, the chamber’s president and CEO, responded late last month to a request by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for input on the next five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program. President Barack Obama imposed a ban on drilling off of the Atlantic and Pacific shores of the U.S. in 2011. The ban is due to expire at the end of 2016. In his letter, Clark argued that continuing the ban past that expiration date would be premature because the most recent seismic data from the Atlantic seaboard is more than 30 years old. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 2 years 116 days ago

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Duke Energy, always hungry to build, says existing plants aren't viable
AUBURNDALE, Fla. — The power plant is a decade old but in no way shows its age. "It looks brand new, doesn't it?" said John Flumerfelt, an executive at Calpine Construction Finance Co., during a recent tour of the facility. "Shipshape." His description is apt. Run by a 23-member crew that includes old Navy veterans, the plant shows like a well-tended ship. It is a highly efficient combined-cycle generator fueled by natural gas. Calpine built the "merchant plant" to sell power to public utilities. These days, though, there's so little demand the plant sometimes sits idle. The Great Recession not only reduced demand for electricity, it also spurred investment in power-saving devices and strategies. Power usage around Florida has been flat for years. Tampa Bay Times
Submitted 2 years 116 days ago

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Back in the USA: Call center jobs return
MELBOURNE, Fla. – Much has been made the last several years about "Made in America," but how about "Answered in America?" After years of sending call center jobs to India, the Philippines, Mexico and other countries, companies are bringing them back to the U.S. An estimated 5 million Americans are employed in call centers, including more than 1,000 in Brevard County, at such places as eBay Enterprise's Customer Care Center, Percepta LLC and TeleTech Holdings, which recently announced plans to hire 300 people at its expanding Melbourne operation. Florida Today
Submitted 2 years 116 days ago

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Chmura: Some signs emerging for growth in midwage jobs
A lot has been made about the hollowing out of America, also called “job polarization” by economists. It happened during the recession, when employment in midwage occupations declined by a larger number than lower-wage or higher-wage occupations dropped. Since the recovery began, job growth has been lagging in midwage occupations. The greatest increase has been in lower-wage occupations, such as jobs in retail and food services. Growing income inequality is a concern if the reduction in midwage jobs is part of a long-term trend as opposed to the temporary effects of recessions. Richmond Times-Dispatch
Submitted 2 years 116 days ago

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Education crucial for prepared workforce
MONTGOMERY — A study on the potential economic impact of increasing the state's high school graduation rate confirmed what local officials said they already knew: A larger and better-trained workforce would mean more jobs. The study, released this month from the Business Education Alliance, concludes raising the graduation rate from the current 80 percent to 90 percent by 2020 — already the goal of the state Department of Education — would be equivalent to landing a major industrial project: an impact of about $430 million a year. Decatur Times-Daily
Submitted 2 years 116 days ago

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The Battle is on for Tesla’s New Gigafactory
Almost 150 years have passed since the American Civil War ended… but a new battle is brewing between a handful of U.S. states. Rather than a North versus South clash, though, this war is being waged between the West and the Southwest. And instead of muskets, these combatants are fighting with today’s ultimate weapon – money. It’s a battle that will profoundly change the face of an entire industry – and the fortunes of one company in particular. Five states are duking it out – and they’re each dead set on winning this lucrative reward. Wallstreetdaily.com
Submitted 2 years 116 days ago

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Texas, Florida, North Carolina lead IT job growth in first half of 2014, study finds
U.S. technology professionals searching for jobs may want to look in states not normally considered IT hot spots. The three states with the highest percentage of IT job growth for the first half of 2014 were Texas at 5.99 percent, Florida at 5.64 percent and North Carolina at 3.8 percent, according to a report from IT job site Dice. The top 10 states in the report “are growing from a lower base compared to a state like California so it’s more about the rate of growth,” said Shravan Goli, president of Dice, which reached its findings by analyzing employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. PCworld.com
Submitted 2 years 117 days ago

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During Drought, Once-Mighty Texas Rice Belt Fades Away
In 2012, some farming districts on the Lower Colorado River were cut off from water for irrigation for the first time. Reservoirs were too low to flood tens of thousands of rice fields. Some asked, “Why would anyone be farming rice in Texas in the first place?” The answer is long, and it begins with the fact that parts of Texas haven’t always been dry. For farmers like Ronald Gertson, who remembers driving a tractor through rice fields as a child, recent years have been hard to bear. NPR.org
Submitted 2 years 117 days ago

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3D SYSTEMS ADDS 200,000 SQUARE-FOOT MANUFACTURING FACILITY IN SOUTH CAROLINA
ROCK HILL, South Carolina, August 12, 2014 - 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that it has signed a lease on a new 200,000 square foot facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina, increasing its manufacturing and distribution capacity to meet growing demand for its 3D printers and materials. The addition of this new manufacturing and distribution center is part of the company's previously announced expansion, which is expected to generate hundreds of new jobs over time. Twst.com
Submitted 2 years 117 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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