Tourism and hospitality is multi-billion dollar industry in Kentucky

Taxes paid by tourists lessen Warren Countians’ state and local tax burden by nearly $1,000 per household, according to one official.

Tourism was responsible for $13.7 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2015, the latest numbers available from the state’s Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet. New numbers will be released next month. The industry generated more than $1.43 billion in tax revenues in 2015.

“It is a huge driver of the economy in Kentucky,” said Hank Phillips, president and chief executive officer of the Kentucky Travel Industry Association, a trade organization that represents all segments of Kentucky’s tourism industry. “It is the third-largest industry in the state, and people don’t realize how much of an economic contribution that tourism makes to the state.

“For every dollar that the state invests in advertising Kentucky, their research shows that $150 comes back in visitor expenditures. For every dollar invested, there are $16 in local and state tax revenues that come back from that investment. The return on tourism investment is huge both in terms of money coming into the economy and much-needed local and state tax revenue,” Phillips said.

 Bowling Green Daily News

Tribal casinos are on a roll, outpacing national industry

Oklahoma casinos owned and operated by American Indian tribes saw gambling revenue rise in 2015 and their associated hotels and restaurants made strong gains in nongambling revenue.

The tribes in Oklahoma earned $4.214 billion in revenue in 2015, up 6.7 percent from $3.950 billion in 2014, according to the recently released Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report. Nongambling revenue in Oklahoma for 2015 totaled $667 million, up 4.7 percent from $637 million for the year earlier.

Five Oklahoma tribes operate casinos that include hotels along Arkansas’ western border, all of which feature restaurants and entertainment. While gambling is still the key revenue source, industry watchers have said for years that modern casinos have to offer a variety of experiences if they want to stay competitive and lure customers from neighboring states and away from local competitors.

Global freight forwarder Senator International plans to invest nearly $7.4 million over five years to establish a new facility in Spartanburg County and create 100 jobs.

The company, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, has signed a lease on 181,440 square feet of Spartanburg-based Johnson Development Associates’ more than 362,000-square-foot speculative, or spec, building at 769 Flatwood Industrial Drive.

Senator International signs were placed near the property’s entrance Monday.

USA unemployment rate near 10-yr low, but job creation falters

The unemployment rate for March was accurate to within plus-or-minus 1.2 percentage points, 68 per cent of the time.

The country’s unemployment rate crept up last month to 6.7 per cent from 6.6 per cent, primarily because more people were looking for work, the agency said.

With a major decline in unemployment claims filed in early April, these metrics seem to be a sign of a tighter labor market: one in which many qualified people who want to work are actually able to find one.

Manufacturing jobs, which tend to be higher-paying than service-sector ones, rose 11,000, but retail jobs fell by almost 30,000, testimony to the problems of stores across the country that are being laid waste by e-commerce.


However, the province’s unemployment rate climbed slightly from 8.3 to 8.4 per cent because more people were out looking for work.

Five percent of post 9/11 veterans were unemployed in March, according to data releasedFriday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

US job growth slowed sharply last month, falling to its lowest level in almost a year, according to government figures.

The unemployment rate is calculated from a survey of households, while the payroll data comes from a survey of employers.

Is U.S. Manufacturing Really Declining?

A popular narrative over the past decade has been U.S. manufacturing’s precipitous decline. But has manufacturing really become an afterthought in the U.S. economy?

At first glance, the numbers seem to paint a bleak picture for the health of the manufacturing sector. After holding fairly steady through the 1990s, the number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. dropped from over 17 million in 2000 to just over 12 million in 2015.

The employment share of manufacturing has been declining even longer than that. About 32 percent of workers held manufacturing jobs in 1953, but that share was down to just 8.7 percent in 2015, as seen in the figure below.

The United States of Insecurity

The American dream has inspired generations to work hard with an eye toward climbing the socioeconomic ladder. But when the Pew Research Center asked Americans whether they would rather have more money or economic stability, 9 out of 10 choose stability.

What happened to turn Americans away from the country’s long-held belief in personal economic growth? Shifting dynamics in the labor force as corporations and the government increasingly push costs and risks onto workers are among the causes, according to a new groundbreaking financial study that tracked the daily financial lives of 235 U.S. households for a full year.

The U.S. Financial Diaries (USFD) followed low- and moderate-income households in 10 communities across the country who agreed to share their intimate daily financial details. While other studies of household finances have examined annual data, the USFD project is unusual in its level of detail about how Americans are making a living, spending their money and dealing with financial stress.

CBS News

The long, rough ride ahead for ‘Made in America’

Mini motorcycle and go-kart maker Monster Moto made a big bet on U.S. manufacturing by moving assembly to this Louisiana town in 2016 from China.

But it will be a long ride before it can stamp its products “Made in USA.”

The loss of nearly one out four U.S. factories in the last two decades means parts for its bike frames and engines must be purchased in China, where the manufacturing supply chain moved years ago.

“There’s just no way to source parts in America right now,” said Monster Moto Chief Executive Alex Keechle during a tour of the company’s assembly plant. “But by planting the flag here, we believe suppliers will follow.”

Monster Moto’s experience is an example of the obstacles American companies face as they, along with President Donald Trump, try to rebuild American manufacturing. U.S. automakers and their suppliers, for example, have already invested billions in plants abroad and would face an expensive and time-consuming transition to buy thousands of American-made parts if President Trump’s proposed “border tax” on imported goods were to become law.


Why industrial construction is so ‘hot’ right now

This shift to e-commerce in the retail sector necessitates that warehouses and distribution centers be built near population centers rather than on cheaper, port-accessible sites. The new facilities also require the latest in technology and higher ceilings to function efficiently.

E-commerce has not only changed the industrial sector, though. Construction companies who were entrenched in traditional retail build-outs and new construction have had to adjust their business models to make up for the new trend as malls start to fall out of favor with consumers.

While firms haven’t quite given up on the sector, many are now focusing on the “new retail,” which is experience driven. Millennials have taken the lead in this change, and Chuck Taylor, director of operations for Illinois-based Englewood Construction, told Construction Dive in November that retailers who want to see successful brick-and-mortar operations have to appeal to that demographic’s desire for convenience, community and socialization as part of the shopping experience.

Manufacturers worry exports will drive up natural gas prices

American manufacturing companies are worried that a boom in liquefied natural gas exports will reduce domestic supply and raise prices.

The Industrial Energy Consumers of America sent a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thursday asking his department to deny expedited approval for export permits.

Cheap natural gas will create more jobs in the U.S., the manufacturing association argues.

Fuel Fix