Alabama jobless rate hits lowest point ever

Alabama’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.2 percent in August to 3.8 percent in September. That ties for the lowest rate in Alabama history, which occurred in April 2007. A year ago, Alabama’s rate was 6 percent. The comparable national average is 4.2 percent, which is down from 4.4 percent in August and from 4.9 percent a year ago. Employment in the state totaled 2.068 million – about 11,000 more jobs than August and 23,000 more jobs than a year ago. The number of unemployed individuals has fallen by nearly 50,000 over the past year. Birmingham Business Journal

Austin’s economy outshines almost every other U.S. city across 25 key factors

Provo, Utah, has a decidedly low profile, though it deserves to be better known. Provo is just the 92nd-biggest metropolitan area in America and only the third-largest in its own state (trailing Salt Lake City and Ogden). Yet it boasts the strongest economy in the nation, as determined by this year’s ACBJ Economic Index. Provo jumped to first place in ACBJ’s updated standings for 2017, up from fourth in 2015 and second last year, based on a formula that measures the nation’s 100 biggest metros against 25 statistical benchmarks. Austin Business Journal

Austin-area economic leaders under police investigation, reports say

City leaders in Hutto about 20 miles northeast of downtown Austin revealed late Thursday that the Hutto Economic Development Corp. is under criminal investigation, according to several news reports. For what, exactly, is unclear to the public, but the Austin American-Statesman reports “the revelation came several minutes after Mayor Pro Tem Tom Hines had said that the EDC — against the wishes of the City Council and the city manager — had sold some option rights to an $8 million megasite between Hutto and Taylor for $10 to a brokerage firm.” Austin Business Journal

Peek inside Amazon in Austin: More room for employees but forget the ‘sterile environments’

As Amazon.com Inc. considers where to build its second headquarters, there is little indication of where the company is leaning. CEO Jeff Bezos and his fellow executives have made it a very open, highly competitive process. But one thing is clear: Over the past two years, the Seattle-based retail and technology giant has built its Austin operations into much more of a self-sustaining hub. Austin Business Journal

CNBC: Atlanta is 2nd best city for Amazon HQ2

Atlanta is becoming a popular second choice for Amazon’s HQ2. Everyone seems to have an opinion about where Amazon should invest $5 billion and hire 50,000 people for its second headquarters, and CNBC is no different. The news outlet said Thursday that it wanted to help Seattle’s online retail behemoth with its unprecedented decision and did its own independent review using key criteria laid out by the company. Based on its results, CNBC says Amazon should focus in on New York, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston. Atlanta Business Chronicle

Video: Georgia brings its bid for Amazon HQ2 to Seattle

A top Georgia recruiter on Thursday walked into Amazon’s Day One tower in downtown Seattle to hand-deliver the state’s pitch for the e-commerce giant’s second headquarters. And she had a camera crew in tow. Brittany Holtzclaw, director of logistics, energy, agribusiness and food processing for the state’s economic development department, is shown traveling from Atlanta to Seattle to make the state’s pitch to land the giant project and the promise of 50,000 future jobs. AJC.com

See Boston’s bid for Amazon’s HQ2

Boston. Yes. That’s what the city told Amazon in its bid to win the Seattle-based company’s second headquarters, or HQ2. Yesterday was the deadline for cities and states to submit their proposals for th deal that could bring a $5 billion investment and up to 50,000 employees. Boston city officials released their package to the public. “The future is taking shape in Boston,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh writes in the introduction. Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta continues climb, but still sitting outside Top 15 in Economic Index analysis

Provo, Utah, has a decidedly low profile, though it deserves to be better known. Provo is just the 92nd-biggest metropolitan area in America and only the third-largest in its own state (trailing Salt Lake City and Ogden). Yet it boasts the strongest economy in the nation, as determined by this year’s ACBJ Economic Index. Atlanta, meanwhile, continues its steady climb up the ACBJ’s rankings, sitting at No. 18, behind cities including Charlotte and Portland. Atlanta Business Chronicle

New media complex aims to put Atlanta ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ with Hollywood

Georgia State University on Oct. 19 celebrated the opening of its Creative Media Industries Institute, a center for advanced technology media and arts training.  The unique three-story building is designed to help GSU students who want to start careers in the entertainment and information industries. Its other goals are to train media entrepreneurs and bring together the film and television industry, music and game design. GSU President Mark Becker said the center could help Atlanta catch up with the amount of media production that happens in Hollywood. Atlanta Business Chronicle

3,890-acre quail plantation in Albany, Ga., hits market at $16 million (Photos)

A 3,890-acre quail plantation in the Albany area is on the market for $16 million.
Cane Mill Plantation is being sold by descendants of the family of Georgia Gov. John B. Gordon. After four generations of family members hunting on the property, the children of the current owners are scattered across the country and not in a position to take on maintenance of the property. Check out the adjacent slideshow and see the listing here. Located on the western outskirts of Albany, Cane Mill was once part of the Gillionville Plantation, located just west of Albany and the oldest plantation in Georgia under the original family’s ownership. Atlanta Business Chronicle