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That's The Randle Report for August 23, 2016
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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Bill Nye: Climate change is reason for Louisiana floods
As Louisiana tries to dry out and start rebuilding after last week's catastrophic flooding, Bill Nye has an ominous message: It's going to happen again. "This is a result of climate change," Nye told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Tuesday. "It's only going to get worse." The unprecedented floods damaged more than 60,000 homes and killed 13 people. But because the flooding was caused by smaller individual storms, it didn't attract the attention and response that larger storms -- such as hurricanes Sandy, Katrina or Rita -- garnered. CNN.com
Submitted 10 hours ago

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The week after devastating floods, Obama tours Louisiana damage
WASHINGTON — Wearing khakis and hiking boots, President Obama toured a flood-damaged Baton Rouge suburb Tuesday, assessing damage from what's being described as the worst natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Obama brushed off criticism that he was late in coming to the flood-ravaged region, and instead devoted much of his time praising the initial response by state and federal officials. USATODAY.com
Submitted 10 hours ago

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How will the Louisiana Flood of 2016 impact NOLA housing market?
The colossal climb in home prices in New Orleans over the past few years was bound to cool off eventually. That moment arrived this year, as home prices across the metro have continued to increase but at a slower pace in the first six months of 2016, according to a report issued Monday (Aug. 22). Wade Ragas, a real estate expert who authored the latest home prices report for the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors, said until two weeks ago he would have predicted price growth to continue to fall off for the remainder of the year. Nola.com
Submitted 10 hours ago

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Sasol increases Louisiana chemical project cost estimate to $11 billion
Sasol Ltd. raised its cost estimate for the Lake Charles chemical project by almost 25 percent to $11 billion, following a review. The revision reflects "poorer-than-anticipated subsurface conditions," requiring more ground works, weather delays, and higher construction and labor costs, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement. It expects most units at the project to start producing in early 2019, with the remainder completed by the end of that year. Nola.com
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This basic shortage is driving up home prices in Nashville
The Nashville area has one of the nation’s most limited supplies of homebuilder lots among large cities. That’s according to a new report from Washington, D.C-based Metrostudy cited by The Tennessean. Metrostudy found that Nashville has a supply of vacant lots ready for construction that would last 14 months, the lowest level since the company began tracking Nashville’s market. According to The Tennessean, a healthy supply is considered somewhere between 18 and 24 months. Nashville Business Journal
Submitted 10 hours ago

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One of GE Appliances' rivals is building in Louisville — and we know where
Midea America Corp., part of China-based Midea Group, plans to build a research center at 2700 Chestnut Station Court, in Blankenbaker Station business park in Louisville's East End. Officials plan to break ground on the project on Aug. 30, according to an invitation I received for the event. We don't have any details yet on the size of the building, but I've contacted officials at the company for more information. I'll update this story if I hear anything substantial back. Louisville Business First
Submitted 11 hours ago

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Comerica: Oil slump not as big of a drag on Texas economy
The Texas economy is showing signs of shrugging off the slump in oil prices, according to Comerica Bank’s top economist. The largest bank headquartered in Dallas published its first reports Aug. 22 of the five markets in which the firm operates. It follows a rosier jobs report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas last week that showed a pick-up in the pace of hiring in Texas. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 11 hours ago

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Major health care system cuts hundreds of Houston jobs
Houston-based CHI St. Luke's Health has eliminated more than 200 jobs from its system as part of a larger restructuring in the organization. Of the 230 jobs being eliminated, 104 were vacant positions, according to a statement from the health care system, the fourth largest in Houston. Thirty-six employees took other jobs with comparable roles, and 30 employees will remain in the division. However, 60 employees will leave the organization, according to the statement. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 11 hours ago

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How Perot's Circle T Ranch corralled Charles Schwab and 1,200 new jobs
Ever since Ross Perot Jr.'s Hillwood acquired Circle T Ranch in Westlake more than 23 years ago, the development firm has been selective with plans for the property. That has been one of the secrets to Circle T's success in bringing in financial services giant Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW), said Mike Berry, president of Perot's Fort Worth-based Hillwood Properties company. Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 11 hours ago

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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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