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That's The Randle Report for February 24, 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.
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Immigrants needed for economy to continue growing, says Dallas Fed chief
FORT WORTH -- U.S. economic growth is headed for a decline if the nation’s leaders don’t agree on an immigration policy that continues to allow foreign workers into the country, Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said Thursday. Being receptive to immigrants has made the United States distinctive and helped it grow, he said. Immigrants and their children made up more than 50 percent of the workforce growth in the past several decades, Kaplan said. And that percentage is going to increase tremendously in the next 20 years as baby boomers retire from the workforce and U.S. population growth slows. Fort Worth Star Telegram
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Here’s how mass deportation would hit your state’s economy
President Donald Trump's plans to deport millions of unauthorized workers will leave thousands of employers scrambling to fill newly vacated jobs. The impact will be concentrated in a handful of states and industries that rely most heavily on undocumented workers. Foreign-born workers without legal status make up an estimated 5.1 percent of the overall U.S. labor force, according to estimates from the Pew Research Center, based on 2012 Census data. But that average masks a wide range from one state to another. CNBC
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US turns into 'oil nation' with record exports, 'eating' OPEC market share
The U.S. exported a record amount of crude oil, topping a million barrels a day for a second week and filling the gap in world markets created by OPEC cutbacks. Shale and other U.S. producers sent 1.2 million barrels of crude oil onto world markets last week, up nearly 200,000 barrels a day from the week earlier and about 350,000 barrels above the four-week average, according to Energy Information Administration data. Until recently, the U.S. was exporting about 500,000 barrels a day. "OPEC's got a competitor. No doubt about it," said Kyle Cooper, a consultant with Ion Energy Group. "They certainly have to be concerned with U.S. oil producers eating into their market share." CNBC
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State takes another step toward dismantling Enterprise Florida
A Florida House budget panel this week voted to kill Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development agency, as well as other economic development programs, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The panel also voted to reduce state funding for Visit Florida, the state’s tourism bureau, to $25 million, and increase oversight of the agency, said the article. HB 7005, which is vehemently opposed by Gov. Rick Scott as well as Enterprise Florida CEO Chris Hart, next will be heard on the House floor. There is no Senate companion bill. Enterprise Florida and Visit Orlando have the support of Senate leaders, said the article. Orlando Business Journal
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Here's how much traffic congestion costs Tampa drivers
Tampa drivers spent an average of 27 hours in heavy congestion in 2016, according to a new study by transportation analytics firm Inrix. Time spent in traffic congestion cost the average Tampa driver $923 in 2016, which equals out to $932 million for all of Tampa. Costs were calculated using both direct costs to the driver, including additional fuel and lost time spent in congestion, and indirect costs, which is the additional costs of goods and services due to time spent in congestion by businesses. Tampa Bay Business Journal
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You're wasting this much money sitting in Nashville traffic
Sorry, Nashville drivers: You might as well mark at least one day off your calendars because you're going to spend more than 24 hours in your car this year sitting in traffic. Nashville is the 23rd most-congested city in the United States, with drivers spending 34 hours stuck in traffic annually, according to a new study. Those 34 hours also translate into a cost in lost time to drivers of $1,308 apiece, and costs the city an estimated $517 million a year in direct and indirect costs associated with those delays, according to the study by Kirland, Washington-based Inrix. Inrix is best known for its traffic mobile app. Nashville Business Journal
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Will Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam seek another public office?
We know Bill Haslam will leave the Governor’s Mansion in 2018, after he finishes his second term as governor. What’s unclear is what comes next. Asked if he might run for a U.S. Senate seat in 2018, Haslam on Wednesday didn’t rule it out. “I honestly don’t know,” Haslam said, according to The Tennessean. “Two years feels like a long time.” Sen. Bob Corker's seat will be on the ballot in 2018; Sen. Lamar Alexander’s seat will be on the 2020 ballot. Nashville Business Journal
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Korean Air takes delivery of its 1st Dreamliner at Boeing S.C.
Korean Air took delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner — a 787-9 — today at Boeing South Carolina’s delivery center in North Charleston. The Seoul-based airline had ordered a 787-8 Dreamliner in 2005, but after discussions with Boeing executives, the carrier decided to switch its order for the more popular 787-9 Dreamliner — pushing delivery to this year because of production schedules. The 787-9 derivative is 20 feet longer than the 787-8 model. The aft- and midbody sections of all Dreamliners are produced in North Charleston, and final assembly of all but the 787-10 is split between North Charleston and Everett, Wash., sites. Charleston Business Journal
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DuPont closing its Berkeley County, S.C., Kevlar plant, moving work to Va.
DuPont is closing its Kevlar plant near Goose Creek less than six years after opening the $500 million factory along the Cooper River, citing declining demand for the product used in protective gear such as helmets and bullet-proof vests. The local operations will be rolled into a larger DuPont plant in Richmond, Va., according to company spokesman Dan Turner, who said the relocation "will make it possible to invest in the future growth and innovation of the Kevlar business." The 113 employees at the Berkeley County site will be eligible for positions at other company locations, Turner said, adding the company will work with them "to secure roles both inside and outside of DuPont." Charleston Post and Courier
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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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