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That's The Randle Report for December 9, 2016
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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FedEx CEO: Tearing up NAFTA would be 'catastrophic'
In some of the sharpest remarks since Trump's victory, FedEx CEO Fred Smith warned about the dangers of clamping down on free trade, especially tearing up NAFTA, or the free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada. Getting out of NAFTA "would be catastrophic for the U.S. economy," Smith said at a meeting on national competitiveness in Washington on Friday. "Trade has made America great," and Smith said. Going the other way "would be a severe mistake with enormous consequences for America and the world." He pointed out that 25% of U.S. manufacturing jobs depend on shipments abroad. Overall, trade supports 40 million jobs in America. CNN Money
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Corporate jets expected to descend on Tampa for football championship
Tampa International Airport is expecting approximately 225 corporate jets to descend upon the region for the College Football Playoff next month. The airport will also have a mobile control tower to deal with the influx, TIA officials said at the monthly board meeting of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, which governs the facility. Raymond James Stadium will host the game on Jan. 9, 2017. The football championship is expected of have an economic impact of approximately $308 million with attendance from out-of-town visitors projected to range from 75,000 to 100,000 people. Tampa Bay Business Journal
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MemphisWorks puts job search 'in the palm of your hand'
Dr. Glen Fenter, president of the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (GMACW), has an idea of how far he wants a new Memphis job portal that launches today to reach. “The police chief told me he wants our logo on every one of their cars, so when they’re arresting some poor fool who says he can’t get a job, they can point to our logo and tell them to go here,” Fenter said. GMACW's MemphisWorks Pathways Navigation System is a web-based application that allows job-seekers to find jobs they’re interested in and, if they don’t have transportation, jobs near where they live. Memphis Business Journal
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IT company to move headquarters, 1,500 jobs to Indian Land, S.C.; build $41M campus
An IT managed-services company will move its headquarters and 1,500 employees to Indian Land in a $41 million project that becomes Lancaster County’s largest-ever job announcement. CompuCom Systems Inc. will move from Dallas into a new 150,000-square-foot building in Bailes Ridge Business Park. “This is an exciting new chapter in CompuCom’s journey,” says Dan Stone, CEO of CompuCom. S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley says a new global headquarters shows the state is business-ready. Charlotte Business Journal
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Kansas City tops the nation in business growth
Kansas City is outpacing major cities, such as New York and San Jose, in business growth. Pennsylvania-based Wendover Corp. released its third-quarter national business growth survey report [PDF], which found that Kansas City tops the nation with its business growth index score. Kansas City's score increased 23.8 percent compared to the same period last year. The national average is a 10 percent increase. Kansas City Business Journal
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Mayor Rawlings: Corporate relocations continue in Dallas, yet poverty persists
Corporations keep on relocating to Dallas. Yet the city has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the nation, and one of the highest rates of teen-age pregnancy in the world, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a State of the City speech today. In a presentation peppered with statistics, Rawlings started by noting that the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Board voted Thursday morning to halt withdrawals from the fund’s Deferred Retirement Option Program, known as DROP. Dallas Business Journal
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Houston sees first decrease in office sublease space in two years
For the first time since the third quarter of 2014, Houston's office sublease inventory contracted, according to a report from Chicago-based JLL. The city's shrunken sublease space can be partly attributed to a significant deal that took place in the third quarter, the report states. Houston-based ConocoPhillips Co.'s (NYSE: COP) relocation of its Houston headquarters to Energy Center 4 – an empty 597,629-square-foot office building in the Energy Corridor that ConocoPhillips put on the sublease market just months ago – favorably tipped the city's sublease scales. Houston Business Journal
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Report: Few residents are leaving Houston despite oil slump
Thousands of Houston energy workers have been laid off amid the oil slump, but few are leaving the Bayou City, according to a new report. Abodo, a national apartment search firm, recently released a report that analyzed Census Bureau data and ranked the top 50 U.S. cities where residents are leaving the fastest. Houston ranked No. 42 out of the 50 cities on Abodo’s list with only 4.6 percent of residents leaving between July 2014 and July 2015, the most recent data available. Houston more than made up for its population loss with more people moving into the city. Houston Business Journal
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Linak expansion will add 400 jobs in Louisville
Linak U.S. Inc., which makes parts used in health care equipment, furniture, desks and other products, will create 413 jobs with a planned expansion project. We first heard about an expansion at Linak back in October, when the company filed a development plan for a new 145,000-square-foot warehouse at 11710 La Grange Road, near North English Station Road. Earlier today, the company was given preliminary approval for about $3.8 million in tax incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority. The incentives were approved based on the company's plans to invest $32.7 million in the expansion and create the 413 jobs. Louisville Business First
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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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