Mexico “rejects” Texas’ proposal to allow state police to deport undocumented immigrants

The Mexican government on Wednesday responded to the Texas Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 4 — which creates a state crime for entering the state illegally from Mexico and allows state and local authorities to deport undocumented immigrants — saying it “categorically rejects” Texas’ latest proposal to arrest and deport immigrants to Mexico.

“The Government of Mexico reiterates its rejection of any measure that contemplates the involuntary return of migrants without respect for due process,” says the statement from Mexico’s secretary of foreign relations.

It added that Mexico, “recognizes the sovereign right of any country to decide the public policies that should be implemented in its territory,” but Mexico also has a right to defend the estimated 10 million people of Mexican origin in Texas and “establish its own immigration policies in its territory.”

“The Government of Mexico categorically rejects any measure that allows state or local authorities to detain and return nationals or foreigners to Mexican territory,” the statement says. Texas Tribune

The Great Migration brought thousands of people to Texas. Here’s where they came from.

The pandemic sparked a Great Migration that put millions of Americans — and considerable wealth — on the move, and Texas had the second-highest amount of new citizens calling the Lone Star state home.

New data from the American Community Survey shows Texas added just over 668,000 new residents with a net migration over 174,000.

Texas added the most new residents from California (102,442), while it lost the most residents (42,279) to the Golden State. Texans also moved to Florida in droves, with over 38,000 residents moving to the southwest.

It’s important to note the state-to-state migration data represents estimates rather than the exact number of moves, so there is a margin of error. Additionally, the data doesn’t cover immigration from other countries.

While experts say the Great Migration has slowed, it’s still having a substantial impact on local economies even as remote-work availability is lessening. That’s particularly true when it comes to housing and workforce development. San Antonio Business Journal

Sound of GAF Energy’s $100M factory operating north of Austin like ‘music,’ exec says

When Ralph Robinett stands inside the new 450,000-square-foot GAF Energy LLC manufacturing site in Georgetown, the sound of humans and machinery making parts for the solar roofing industry is “music to his ears.”

About 15 months ago, the site was a greenfield. But last month, GAF obtained a certificate of occupancy for what is now a $100 million facility at 110 SE Inner Loop. About 75 employees have been coming to work seven days a week, 12 hours a day as they prepare to start shipping the first solar shingles produced at the site by the end of the year.

“Every factory has a heartbeat. It has a little bit of an arrhythmia the first few days. But after a couple of weeks, you can start to feel it and see it,” said Robinett, who is the company’s senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain. “It’s feeling very real now, which is great to see after coming together over the last 14, 15 months.” Austin Business Journal

Site Selection magazine: Louisville best Ohio River metro for economic development

Louisville has claimed the top spot in Site Selection Magazine’s annual analysis of economic development in metro areas along the Ohio River.

After tying with Cincinnati last year, the Derby City is ranked No. 1 with 70 projects totaling $2.25 billion in investment and 4,302 jobs. The result comes from an index of corporate end-user facility investment data entered into Site Selection’s proprietary Conway Projects Database over an 18-month period.

Site Selection mentioned the $450 million investment at GE Appliances, a Haier company, which wrapped up this year. As Business First previously reported, three of the park’s five major plants have received significant upgrades over the past two years with new top-load washer models and four-door refrigerators added as well as new assembly lines and fabrication equipment. Louisville Business First

Another 1,300 oil and gas jobs on the horizon for Louisiana, LSU study says

Amid the potential for a decade of national growth in oil and gas production, Louisiana could gain 1,000 upstream oil and gas jobs through next year, according to the 2024 Gulf Coast Energy Outlook released Wednesday by the LSU Center for Energy Studies.

The state should add another 300 upstream jobs in 2025 before leveling off by 2026, the LSU report says.

Louisiana’s refining and chemical manufacturing sector employment should grow by 1% to 2% annually over the next three years, which would push it past its pre-COVID levels of employment, the report says. Those figures mirror the expected growth rate for the same sector in Texas, which should add about 8,000 upstream jobs in 2024 and another 2,500 in 2025.

Avid Boats expanding facility in Monroe County, Miss.

Fishing boat manufacturer Avid Boats is renovating and expanding its facility in Monroe County. The project is a $7.96 million investment that will create 50 new jobs.

Avid Boats produces high-quality aluminum fishing boats from its headquarters in Amory. In March, a tornado significantly damaged the manufacturing facility. As a result, Avid is rebuilding and expanding from its original 85,000-square-foot facility to 100,000 square feet to accommodate current needs and future growth.

The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance for construction, as well as through the Mississippi Flexible Tax Incentive, or MFLEX. Monroe County, with its active support, including the conveyance of the real property for the facility’s construction, will also play a key role in assisting with the project. Mississippi Development Authority

Siemens Gamesa cancels $200M Portsmouth, Va. wind blade factory

Amid failing turbine components and financial challenges, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy said Friday it has “discontinued” its plans to build the nation’s first offshore wind-turbine blade manufacturing facility at the Port of Virginia’s Portsmouth Marine Terminal.

“Siemens Gamesa will continue to meet our obligations for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. Siemens Gamesa discontinued plans to build and operate an offshore blade facility in Virginia, as development milestones to establish the facility could not be met,” a spokesperson for the Spanish-German wind turbine company said in a statement.

The $200 million project, first announced in October 2021, was expected to create 310 jobs in Portsmouth — and also was viewed as a major step toward creating a U.S. offshore wind manufacturing hub in Hampton Roads. The factory was set to support Dominion Energy’s $9.8 billion Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, and Siemens Gamesa had leased 80 acres at the port’s Portsmouth terminal next to 72 acres leased by Dominion for staging and preassembly of the foundations and turbines for the wind farm. Virginia Business

Virginia leaders demand reversal of FBI headquarters decision

Virginia leaders on Thursday called on the General Services Administration to reverse its decision to send the FBI headquarters to Greenbelt, citing reports that the three-person panel installed to make the selection chose Springfield in Northern Virginia but was overruled.

In a message to all FBI employees, FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday laid out his concerns about the process, specifically that the three-member panel “reached a unanimous recommendation indicating Springfield, Virginia, as the highest rated site according to the criteria included in the selection plan.” Then a senior GSA executive, whom Wray did not name, “diverged from the panel’s conclusions and selected Greenbelt.”

The Washington Post first reported on Wray’s concerns. The Washington Business Journal has independently obtained his letters to staff. Washington Business Journal

Retiree surplus still near two million, years after Covid

More than three-and-a-half years after COVID struck, the US still has around 2 million more retirees than predicted, in one of the most striking and enduring changes to the nation’s labor force.

The so-called Great Retirement induced by COVID-19 is evident in the divergence between the actual number of retirees and that predicted by a Federal Reserve economic model. While down from a 2.8 million gap late last year, it remains elevated today and has even risen from 1.7 million in June.

“While the gap seemed to be closing earlier in the year, it seems to have widened slightly since then,” said Miguel Faria-e-Castro, economic policy adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “As of September, we estimate about 1.98 million excess retirees. Dallas Morning News

Here’s where the jobs are for October 2023 — in one chart

The October jobs report showed a cooling labor market in the U.S., with many sectors showing minimal or negative growth as the economy added a relatively meager 150,000 jobs overall.

A bright spot came in health care and social assistance, which added more than 77,000 jobs. Within that, ambulatory health care gained 32,000 jobs.

If private education was included in that category, as some economists choose to do, there would have been 89,000 jobs added in that group.

Government employment grew by 51,000, making it the second-strongest category in October. That sector has now returned to its pre-pandemic level, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said in the report. CNBC