That’s The Randle Report for November 22, 2017

Join us again Monday morning for all of the American South’s business, economic development and political news in real time and in one place. Use the sort buttons or the search window to find any story you need to find from last week, last month, last year or several years ago. Click on the headline above to access Southern Business & Development’s website, the economic development magazine of the American South; the fourth largest economy in the world. Happy Thanksgiving!

Fed Officials Are Concerned About Hot U.S. Labor Market

Federal Reserve officials have penciled in a gradual path for raising interest rates, but minutes of their last meeting may show increasing concern that the U.S. labor market is overheating. Policy makers already upgraded their view of the economy, saying economic growth was progressing at a “solid rate” while joblessness “declined further.” Unemployment fell to 4.1 percent in October, a 16-year low, and the tone of the talks could confirm trades that the Fed will raise rates in December and suggest support for several more moves in 2018. Bloomberg

CNBC pegs Atlanta at No. 2 in Amazon HQ2 derby

CNBC is bullish on the emerging tigers in the South when it comes to landing Amazon’s $5 billion second headquarters. The business news channel rated North Carolina’s Charlotte/Raleigh-Durham/Greensboro-High Point as having the best odds of landing HQ2’s 50,000 proposed jobs. CNBC gave the region an overall B grade, the highest grade on the list, which ranked cities on Amazon’s four main criteria for HQ2: a metro area with more than 1 million people; a stable, business friendly environment, ability to attract and retain strong talent, and creative thinking when considering locations. Atlanta Business Chronicle

Tennessee’s Historically Low Unemployment Rate Isn’t All Good

Tennessee’s unemployment rate hit a record low in recent months, and the state clocked one of the nation’s largest unemployment rate declines in a year. But the state’s employment picture isn’t as bright as the number suggests. The state’s unemployment rate was 3% in October, a historic low for Tennessee and a decline of 2 percentage points in just 12 months, according to the Labor Department. But the recession pushed many Tennesseans out of the workforce, and the workforce participation rate has trended down since. Almost 65% of the state’s population were in the workforce a decade ago. In 2017, that number was less than 61%. The Wall Street Journal

Why The Oil Bust Is Still Troubling Southern Louisiana’s Economy

When oil prices tanked in 2014 and 2015, cities situated along the Gulf of Mexico’s rim lost tens of thousands of jobs, but southern Louisiana may have seen the worst of the economic trouble. One of Louisiana’s largest and southernmost metropolitan areas, Houma-Thibodaux, has shed almost 20,000 jobs since 2014, almost 10% of the area’s population, according to data recently released by the Labor Department. At the same time, the economy contracted, wages fell and some of the area’s residents left. The Wall Street Journal

Nucor plans new $250M steel plant in Missouri

Nucor Corp. announced plans to build a $250 million rebar plant about 90 miles east of Kansas City. The company, based in Charlotte, N.C., said it plans to build a rebar micro mill in Sedalia. The plant, scheduled to begin production in 2019, is expected to create 255 jobs with an average annual salary of $65,000. In September, Nucor said it was considering Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina and Florida for the plant. Kansas City Business Journal

Charlotte-based Nucor plans mill in Missouri, looks to Southeast for a new project

Nucor Corp. plans to build a $250 million micro-mill in Sedalia, Mo., to manufacture rebar steel for the construction market. And the company is looking to build another micro-mill in the Southeast. Nucor says the Missouri mill will employ about 255 when it opens in 2019. Nucor also considered sites in South Carolina, Florida, Nebraska and Kansas as it chose the location for the plant. It appears that Florida and South Carolina may still be in the running for a plant.  Construction in Missouri is pending final approval of state and local incentives and necessary construction permits. But Nucor expects those to be completed soon. Charlotte Business Journal

Traveling through Atlanta airport for Thanksgiving? Here is when it will be busiest

The long Thanksgiving weekend is among most congested times of year to fly. And Atlanta has the busiest airport in the world. Combine those two factors, and there are bound to be some issues. However, Forbes listed Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the second-best airport to fly during Thanksgiving travel in the U.S., based on on-time performance, behind only Honolulu. Atlanta-based airline Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) also ranked second among carriers. That doesn’t mean it will be easy. Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia banks see strong 3rd quarter

Georgia’s 178 FDIC-insured financial institutions had a good third quarter. According to the Georgia Bankers Association, the banks earned $889.3 million during the third quarter of this year, up 15.2 percent over the same period in 2016. For the first nine months of the year, cumulative earnings were $2.5 billion, increasing by 10.3 percent over the same 9-month period in 2016. Loans and leases were up by 2.9 percent from the same period a year ago, and total deposits were 3.7 percent higher. Atlanta Business Chronicle

Tyson will build $300M plant in another state

A Tyson Foods Inc. plant announced for a site near Tonganoxie has flown the coop. According to The Kansas City Star, the agribusiness giant (NYSE: TSN) announced plans for a similar $300 million facility in Humboldt, Tenn. The plant will require about 1,500 employees. After two weeks of surprisingly strong resistance, Tyson decided to abandon its $320 million plan to construct a processing plant, hatchery and feed mill in Leavenworth County near Tonganoxie. The company reportedly sought options in Kansas and elsewhere, however, Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman told the Star on Monday that “we need more (facilities) right now” and that the company “may eventually need to build (another) plant to meet demand.” Kansas City Business Journal