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That's The Randle Report for March 23, 2017
Join us again tomorrow 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.
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Is the U.S. Economy’s Slow Growth ‘As Good As It Gets’?
The U.S. economy is stuck in a rut. New research suggests that isn’t about to change. The last recession ended in mid-2009. Since, the expansion has been the third-longest in U.S. history but also the slowest of the post-World War II era—perhaps longer. Economists and observers have cited the depth of the downturn, its financial roots, demand shortfall, misguided government policies, uncertainty and a small host of other factors as root causes. The Wall Street Journal
Submitted 10 hours ago

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Health Care Vote Canceled After GOP Leaders Fail to Win Support
House Republican leaders abruptly postponed a planned vote on the GOP health care bill Thursday as they struggled to find sufficient support to pass it. GOP lawmakers have been told procedural votes on the bill will still be held tonight and that a full vote on the measure could take place Friday. The move to delay the vote came after House conservatives said there was no deal struck on the bill following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House Thursday. According to the NBC vote count, GOP leaders were still at least eight votes short of winning enough backing for passage. NBC News
Submitted 10 hours ago

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U.S. Dilemma Isn’t the Wall, Economists Say, But What to Do About Already-Slowing Immigration
Demographic trends are already slowing immigration to the U.S. from Latin America, making the current administration’s desire for a border wall look “anachronistic,” according to new research by University of California, San Diego, economists. “The dilemma facing the United States is not so much how to arrest massive increases in the supply of foreign labor, but rather how to prepare for a low immigration future,” economists Gordon Hanson, Chen Liu and Craig McIntosh wrote in a paper to be presented at a conference on Thursday at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Bloomberg
Submitted 10 hours ago

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Why is Gainesville Florida’s Biotech Hub?
Moving from an economy that relies heavily on tourism to one that has a large stake in biotech is a big leap. And it calls for a long-term well developed strategy. That’s what Governor Jeb Bush was after back in 2003. Using federal stimulus funds as bait he attempted to catch a big fish in the biotech sector. It worked and the Scripps Research Institute came to Florida. His next line was thrown to the state legislature, which bit and in 2006 created an Innovation Investment Fund to attract world-class research and development which in turn would support high-technology innovation clusters. IndustryWeek
Submitted 10 hours ago

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Five ways Virginia's new eco devo chief hopes to improve the state's economy
Stephen Moret has a plan to grow Virginia’s economy faster, spread the wealth beyond Northern Virginia and return the commonwealth to its former glory as a top place to do business. Moret, who took over as president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership earlier this year, stopped by Loudoun County’s Department of Economic Development on Thursday to talk about his five-point plan for the state, which has yet to fully recover from federal sequestration and other economic gut punches. Here are Moret’s top priorities: Washington Business Journal
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NCAA basketball fans will descend on Memphis this weekend
Downtown business owners are prepping for the arrival of fans of North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA and Butler — and their dollars — to the Bluff City this weekend. After besting the competition in previous rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament, those teams will play in the South Regional hosted by the University of Memphis at FedEx Forum. (The Tigers are not participating in postseason basketball this year.) Memphis Business Journal
Submitted 10 hours ago

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The new New Orleans is tech-savvy and entrepreneurial
New Orleans has a well-earned reputation for its sense of joie de vivre and its unmatched ability to throw a party. But a different side of the city has emerged in the past decade. Inc. magazine called New Orleans the "Coolest Startup City in America." Editors at Worth named New Orleans one of the 15 most dynamic cities in the United States in 2016. The list was based, among other things, on our entrepreneurial community, urban innovation and business climate. The city came in No. 8 in December on SmartAsset's list of best cities for women in technology. "New Orleans has established itself as a leader in tech diversity," the report said. NOLA.com
Submitted 10 hours ago

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Harrah's Casino claims $70 million in losses from New Orleans smoking ban
Representatives from the global casino enterprise Caesar's Entertainment outlined for the Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force the negative impact of a local smoking ban on its No. 1 Louisiana enterprise, Harrah's Casino & Hotel in downtown New Orleans. The casino is one of the three in Louisiana owned by Caesar's. The other two are in Bossier City. Caesars Entertainment president and CEO Mark Frissora said Harrah's in New Orleans lost about $70 million in revenue during the two years following the start of the smoking ban in New Orleans in April 2015. He and other executives spoke to the task force Tuesday (March 21) at the Capitol. NOLA.com
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Biotech giant plans $25M Tampa investment, 450 jobs
Amgen Inc. will open a capability center in Tampa, creating hundreds of high-skill jobs. Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN), a biotechnology firm headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California, will invest $25 million in the 136,000-square-foot center, which will occupy four floors of Corporate Center One at 2202 N. Westshore Blvd. The center is expected to open in October and will employ 450 people by the end of 2018, a press release from the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. said. Tampa Bay Business Journal
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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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