September 2023

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Age Demographics 2021

10,800 people per day are born in the U.S. = 3.94 million a year

10,700 people per day turn age 65 = 3.90 million per year

2,800 migrants per day enter the U.S. legally and illegally = 1.02 million a year

9,607 deaths per day in the U.S. = 3.50 million

Total: Net loss in the workforce of minus 6,707 per day = 201,000 lost workers per month = 2.40 million lost workers per year

Source: Census


Ranking: States with the “Best & Worst Jobs Markets”

Louisiana was named the country’s strongest labor market, boosted by “its diverse economy and range of industries, from energy to aerospace to advanced manufacturing. Louisiana’s labor productivity, increases in job openings and low quit rate led all states according to the Peak Sales Recruiting Analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Eight of the top 10 states with the strongest labor markets are located in the South.


South Carolina









Source: Peak Sales Recruiting        


Three hundred people a day move from California to Texas

The “Texodus” migration continues as it has for three decades, yet, we have never seen it like this before. According to Census and StorageCafe data, residents moving from California to Texas has increased by 80 percent when compared to a decade ago. And why not? The average home price in, say, Santa Clara County, Calif. is $1.46 million. That same home can be purchased in Dallas County for $410,000. If all the residents moving to Texas from California were to create their own city, it would have a population of 111,000 people.


Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear joins Toyota Boshoku at the auto parts maker’s announcement

Toyota Boshoku announced in October that the auto parts maker is investing $225 million in Hopkinsville, which will create 157 jobs.


Pratt Industries opens $500 million paper plant in Henderson, Ky.

In what is written as the largest investment in 25 in this part of Kentucky, Pratt Industries opened the company’s $500 million paper plant in September. The 1.15-million-square-foot facility will house 320 workers.


Safran Landing Systems expands in Kentucky

Safran Landing Systems Kentucky announces the expansion of its Boone County facility, creating 92 well-paying jobs. Safran Landing Systems Kentucky produces and refurbishes advanced carbon composite brake disks and produces aluminum alloy wheels and brakes for large commercial and military aircraft. The initial carbon site construction was completed in 1999, with wheel and brake construction in 2007. In 2016, a major expansion project was launched to increase the carbon capacity of the company by 50%. The company has invested over $300 million in the Boone County site and employs 340 Kentucky workers. The Lane Report


Hyundai rushing to open $7.6 billion Savannah area EV plant

Korean automaker Hyundai has put construction in high gear as it tries to open the largest EV facility in the U.S. The quicker the plant can open, say officials, the more incentives the automaker can receive in federal electric vehicle incentives. Hyundai Motor Group is the parent company of Kia, which also has a plant in Georgia. Hyundai operates its other U.S. plant in Montgomery, Ala.


Construction pauses on $2 billion Scout Motors EV plant in South Carolina

Volkswagen, which has a plant in Chattanooga, is trying to revive a brand that many believe was the forerunner to modern-day SUV. Construction has temporarily ceased on the Scout Motors EV facility in Blythewood, S.C. is being done to give time for the company to continue clearing land and obtaining wetland permits. The finest EV model is expected to meet its planned opening in 2026. Scout and VW say 4,000 jobs will be created.


Texas startup to hire 200 at new North Houston plant

A startup that makes ammonia-to-power equipment to decarbonize overseas shipping is developing its first facility in North Houston. Ammonia is a hydrogen derivative. As more uses for hydrogen are created, more ammonia plants are expected on the Gulf Coast. The deal will create 200 jobs.


Atlanta, Dallas … office vacancies everywhere in major markets in the South

About one-quarter of Atlanta’s office space is vacant. It is worse than that. When factoring in space that companies are renting but no longer want for sublease, it is over 30 percent of all office square footage in metro Atlanta. That is a record high. All total, subleased space accounts for some 44 million square feet.


Atlanta sees record office space vacancies

During the summer, metro Atlanta set a record for it massive amount of empty office space. It took on two months to break it. Nearly 31 percent of all office square footage in metro Atlanta was available for rent at the end of September.


Hyundai pouring more cash into Alabama plant; Kia to invest $200 million to make EV SUV in Georgia; adds to Korean Automotive Corridor that started in Montgomery, Ala.

South Korean automaker Kia is investing $200 million in its West Georgia (West Point) factory to begin production of an electric-powered SUV, the EV9 large, three-row SUV. The company made the announcement in the summer quarter. Over 40 percent of Kia vehicles sold in the U.S. are assembled at the plant near LaGrange, Ga., which is just over 80 miles from its mother ship company, Hyundai, and its plant in Montgomery, Ala.

Hyundai’s multi-billion-dollar plant being built near Savannah means the Korean automakers have established a $50 billion (or thereabouts) beachhead for manufacturing their vehicles in North America, as well as their suppliers, over a 320-mile span from Montgomery, through West Georgia to Savannah. In October, Hyundai announced plans to invest another $290 million in upgrades for the next-generation Santa Fe SUV.


Glove maker announces plant in Chicot County, Ark.

Vietnamese manufacturer, Phu Duc Huy will invest in the nitrile glove to the tune of $50 million. The deal will create 300 jobs.


Gun maker, Sig Sauer, plans $150 million expansion of Arkansas facility

The firearms and ammunition manufacturer will expand employment at the plant to 973.


Company expanding its high-tech footprint in Mississippi

Raytheon broke ground in September on an expansion of its Consolidated Manufacturing Center in Forest, Miss. The $50 million deal will create 100 new jobs. The expansion will increase capacity for the integration of Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band pods for the U.S. Navy.


Latitude, a precision metal contract manufacturer, to expand to Clarendon County. S.C.

Latitude will invest $29 million in its first South Carolina plant in Clarendon County, S.C. The company started as a machine shop in Wisconsin. The deal will generate 200 new jobs.


$1 billion data center slated for York County, S.C.

QTS Data Centers, is investing $1 billion in a new center near Charlotte in South Carolina. It is the ninth time a company has announced a $1 billion deal.


Another deal for York County, S.C.

Silbaf Solar, a solar panel manufacturer, announced plans in September by establishing a plant in York County, S.C. The $150 deal will create 800 jobs.


Polish glass fabricator expanding in Henry County, Va.

Poland-based Press Glass Inc. will spend more than $155 million to expand its operations in Henry County and add 335 jobs, marking the largest expansion in the county’s history, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Wednesday. The largest independent glass fabricator in Europe, according to a news release, Press Glass will construct a 360,000-square-foot addition at its existing facility in the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre in Ridgeway, where it manufactures glass for the commercial construction industry. The company currently employs more than 300 workers at the site, which it opened in 2020. “With this expansion, Press Glass will make the largest single capital investment by a business in Henry County’s history,” Youngkin said in a statement. Virginia Business


Ship repair facility expanding in Norfolk, Va.

Lyon Shipyard, a full-service ship repair company, is investing $8.5 million and hiring 134 to open a marine repair facility in Norfolk. The shipyard will increase capacity to service ships that service offshore wind farm operations.


Denver, Houston firm to build carbon capture facility off Southwest Louisiana Gulf Coast

Carbonvert and Castax Energy announced in September they have signed a deal with the state of Louisiana to convert a 24,000-acre Gulf of Mexico tract off of Cameron Parish into a subsurface storage hub that could sequester more than 250 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. The tract extends about three miles out into the Gulf.


St. James rare earth element recycling plant moves to the nexr phase of grant funding

ElementUS Minerals, which is proposing an $850 million facility that would recycle iron and rare earth elements from the waste at a St. James Parish alumina plant, has made it to the second phase of a U.S. Department of Energy loan program. ElementUS is seeking a $400 million loan from the energy department’s Clean Energy Financing Program. The project passed the initial phase, which included analysis of its process, business plan and anticipated carbon footprint. Several more steps must be completed before ElemtenUS gets a loan, company officials said in a press release.


Corps new for decades that dredging the Mississippi River would create a water crisis

The Army Corps of Engineers has known for decades that its continual efforts to deepen the Mississippi River for bigger ships would trigger a saltwater crisis that has New Orleans’s water systems. The area has seen saltwater in drinking water for weeks.


Savannah port to expand to Hutchinson Island

The George Ports Authority is planning a new 395-acre container terminal to Hutchinson Island on the Savannah River. Port officials first announced the expansion in 2019.


Pretty big deal south of Atlanta

NewCold, a cold storage developer, is planning a distribution facility in Henry County, Ga. The $333 million project will create at least 170 jobs.


America is in a factory boom again

On a warm Saturday morning in July, as Kathie Leonard planned to set out on her boat for a day on the water off the coast of Maine, her phone rang. The call was from the head of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, asking if Auburn Manufacturing — the specialized textiles maker Leonard runs — would be interested in hosting “the president” in the coming week. At first she replied, “President of what?” Leonard told CNN. Then the Maine official clarified she was referring to President Joe Biden. “I was like, ‘Really? Is this a true call?’” Leonard said. “But I was eventually convinced and said yes, of course we’re going to do it. I mean, you don’t say no to such an opportunity.”


The following Friday at Auburn Manufacturing, located about an hour north of Portland, Biden touted the success of his economic agenda, pointing to manufacturers’ rising investments in construction projects as evidence. In the growth of blue-collar work, Biden has much to celebrate. In July, construction spending from manufacturers rose about 71% from a year earlier, according to Commerce Department data, and manufacturers had 106,000 more employees in August compared to a year earlier, despite business surveys showing softening consumer demand. CNN


Why America has a long-term labor crisis

The U.S. economy has been running, improbably, with an unemployment rate under 4% for nearly two years. That isn’t just a holdover from pandemic bottlenecks, when employers let millions of people go and then struggled to find workers when demand roared back, economists and business leaders say. It is a storm that has been brewing for decades, flaring up most recently in the form of worker strikes at automakers and airlines. Labor shortages are turning into a long-term labor crisis that could push wages and turnover higher. Work experts have warned for years that the combination of baby boomer retirements, low birthrates, shifting immigration policies and changing worker preferences is leaving U.S. employers with too few workers to fill job openings. While the labor market is softening, none of those factors are expected to change dramatically in the coming years. The Wall Street Journal


Texas will have an $18.6 billion surplus and avoid a recession, Comptroller projects

Texas is likely to avoid an anticipated recession and, on the contrary, is projected to have more than $18 billion in unspent money at the end of this two-year budget cycle, thanks to an unexpected increase in state revenue in recent months, Comptroller Glenn Hegar said Thursday. “Despite sharply higher interest rates, household budgets stressed by inflation and adverse economic conditions among major trading partners, the national economy has continued to grow,” Hegar said in his Certified Revenue Estimate, updating how much money lawmakers will have to spend. “Meanwhile, the Texas economy has outperformed the national economy, and the economic outlook included with this revenue estimate does not assume a recession in Texas.” Texas Tribune

In a few weeks, voters from across the state will be asked to weigh in on more than a dozen proposals to amend the state’s constitution. Known as the “constitutional election,” the biennial survey follows the work of state lawmakers in Austin, who must now persuade voters to approve their recommendations to the state’s guiding document. To help voters understand some of the issues on the statewide ballot, The Texas Tribune hosted a half-day event at Angelina College on Oct. 5. Below are brief summaries of the three discussions. You can also replay each conversation, which were taped.


“Economic miracle” at stake in election, East Texas lawmaker says 

Texas’ economic future is at stake this election, a state lawmaker said. Rep. Trent Ashby, a Lufkin Republican and who led on several of the constitutional amendments that voters will consider this fall, said the state would fall behind if voters don’t approve three key infrastructure questions. “I think we run the risk of losing our Texas economic miracle,” Ashby said. The money allocated for each of the infrastructure propositions — water, broadband and energy — has already been allocated toward their respective projects, but can only be utilized if voters pass each amendment. The funds created allow money to be placed outside of the general treasury to be used past the biennial budget created every legislative session. Texas Tribune


Report Claims NC Pension Plan Underfunded By Billions. What About Other States?

North Carolina’s state pension plan has racked up more than $19 billion in unfunded liabilities, according to a new report. The report – from the Pension Integrity Project, an initiative of the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank – estimates state pension systems across the nation will likely remain at historically high debt levels – but that North Carolina is doing better than most. According to the North Carolina Treasurer’s office, the state pension plan had a market value was $112.5 billion as of Sept. 22. There are 357,649 beneficiaries receiving monthly payments, and 644,975 active and former employees who are members but not yet collecting pension benefits. The total monthly distribution of benefits funds is $600 million. Leonard Gilroy, senior managing director of the Pension Integrity Project, said pension funds have to figure out how to fund benefits that will be distributed years from now. “It’s, what do we need to put in today to make sure 20, 40, 50 years from now, so there’s enough money in the kitty for when they retire,” he said, adding that unless the market is more favorable to some of the pension systems, the debt could mean some states will have major issues meeting their obligations without some other kind of intervention. Triangle Business Journal


Georgia Power Says It May Need More Electricity Capacity And Soon

Just over a year ago, state regulators approved Georgia Power’s plan to meet customer’s electricity needs for the next two decades, which called for shuttering most of its coal plants and replacing them with huge amounts of solar and gas. Now, a new notice published recently by Georgia Power suggests the company thinks it needs more power sooner than expected to feed demand from residents and businesses. While details are scarce and Georgia Power has not asked state regulators to approve any additional capacity yet, signs indicate a formal request from the company may be imminent. Atlanta Journal Constitution


SK Battery Ushered EV Sector Into Georgia. Now It Is Cutting Some Jobs

SK Battery America in Jackson County, among the foundational manufacturers in Georgia’s electric vehicle ecosystem, is laying off workers after years of rapid expansion. SK Battery declined to say Tuesday evening how many positions are involved, but the company has confirmed that a group of workers have been laid off in Commerce, about 70 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta, where the subsidiary of South Korea-based SK Innovation has two lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities. Automakers and suppliers have announced tens of billions of dollars in promised EV investment in Georgia and tens of thousands of new jobs, courted with billions in state and local government incentives. But Tuesday’s news marks what may be the Georgia EV sector’s first significant loss.


Why The Charlotte Region Is Set To Gain Thousands Of Manufacturing Jobs

On Sept. 19, solar-panel manufacturer Silfab Solar announced plans to invest $150 million and create 800 jobs at a new facility in Fort Mill. The disclosure was the culmination of a search process dating back to 2021. The deal captures the state of Charlotte’s industrial market, which is seeing growing interest from manufacturers. The Charlotte region’s population boom, the economic growth that follows and its Southeast location make the area a natural target for resurgence in U.S. manufacturing. Those factors are aided by recent federal legislation aimed at boosting the sector. Projects like Silfab’s could represent an initial step in Charlotte’s accelerated push to diversify its economy. “We’ve got a lot of fiscal stimulus that is helping drive investment in technology like the CHIPS (and Science) Act and then the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Mark Vitner, chief economist at Charlotte-based Piedmont Crescent Capital. Charlotte Business Journal


GE Appliances Shows Off $450M Transformation At Appliance Park

GE Appliances, a Haier company, welcomed government and community leaders to Appliance Park to see two new dishwasher manufacturing lines on Wednesday morning. The new lines complete a $450 million investment in the company’s Louisville headquarters that was first announced in late 2021. GE Appliances, a Haier company, welcomed government and community leaders to Appliance Park to see two new dishwasher manufacturing lines on Wednesday morning. The new lines complete a $450 million investment in the company’s Louisville headquarters that was first announced in late 2021. Louisville Business First


Ford Pausing Work On $3.5 Billion Michigan Electric Vehicle Battery Plant

Ford is pausing work on a new, $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan, even as the transition to electric vehicles has become a major sticking point in a United Auto Workers strike against automakers Ford, GM and Stellantis. No final decision has been made on whether the plant will, ultimately, become operational, said Ford spokesman T.R. Reid. If completed, the plant will be located on a 950-acre site in southern Michigan near the town of Marshall. Ford’s plans were to employ 2,500 people when the plant opened for production in 2026. Ford had had announced plans for the battery factory last February. CNN


Construction Underway For All On-Site BlueOval Suppliers Near Memphis, But Mysteries Abound

Ford’s BlueOval City will feature at least six supplier facilities, and construction is underway on all of them, according to the Megasite Authority CEO Clay Bright.


Bright, providing a supplier park update to the wider board on Wednesday, Sept. 20, said that he is “pushing” for the suppliers to wrap up agreements and get their requests for economic incentives finalized with the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development (TNECD).


“I have no idea how long it’s going to be. I’ll tell you this, there’s six items on there,” Bright said at the meeting. “I’m pushing all these suppliers to go ahead and come to terms with the lease agreements. The PILOT program is something I keep pushing them to go to TNECD, but the onus is on them as far as getting that done.” Memphis Business Journal

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