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Our previous blog post highlighted recession-proof jobs and employment sectors, so I thought a recent news story about a “recession-proof” state would be pertinent to mention. Most Americans now think of Hurricane Katrina when they hear about Louisiana. But with a new governor, economic prowess, and some optimism, this fine state is ready to rebound from its disaster relief image. The gulf state, already the nation’s number one producer of crude oil, has purchased 1,500 acres of land in hopes of luring a major automotive plant. Additionally, it offers a unique business tax incentive that specifically targets the booming digital media industry. And sights are set on bringing in biotechnology and life sciences companies to diversify the state’s business climate.With all of the international chatter about the U.S. economic backslide, Louisiana’s development team seems undaunted. In fact, Donald Pierson, the state’s assistant secretary for economic development, considers Louisiana to be “a little bit more recession-proof.”
With the word recession at the tip of every one’s tongues these days, I figured it would be apropos to spotlight an article I read today on Yahoo titled “Recession-Proof Jobs in 2008.” According to the article: “Economists at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley say the U.S. is heading for its first-blown recession in 16 years, and a recent CNN poll found that 57 percent of the public believe the U.S. is in a recession already, with the economy topping the list of voter’s worries.” The article went on to discuss exactly which employment sectors are recession-proof, and the winners are … Education Energy Healthcare International business Environmental sector Security And, in other recession news … Bush’s Congressional leaders completed a deal with the White House today on tax rebates to help revive our failing economy. The $150 billion plan, also includes close to $50 billion in business tax cuts. Under the plan, individuals who pay income taxes would get up to $600 and couples would get up to $1,200 (couples with children would get an additional $300 per child). In addition, individuals who make at least $3,000 but don’t pay taxes would get $300 rebates. Only individuals whose income is $75,000 or less and couples with a combined income of $150,000 or less would be eligible for the rebates. So, it looks like a good portion of us will have some extra money in our pockets soon (around June, according to sources) courtesy of Uncle Sam, who already takes a lot of extra money I could be putting back into the economy out of my pocket every pay period. It will be good to see some of my own hard-earned cash back in my pocket! I guess this means I can get two scoops in my cone this summer instead of one!
I came across an interesting article today in the Latin Business Chronicle that talked about a recent report that came out from the World Bank entitled “Connecting to Compete: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy.” According to the report, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean ranked way behind several developing countries, especially in Asia, in trade logistics competitiveness. For developing countries, the ability to connect to international markets to ship goods is a key way to increase competitiveness in the global economy. The full report and related information are available here.
Recently, “green” has become the ubiquitous buzzword used to describe all things environmentally-friendly. But prior to such days of mainstream climate-consciousness, the word “green” often summoned images of the US dollar which, of course, has taken a dramatic dip in value over the last several years, most notably against the British pound, the euro, and, now, the Canadian dollar. Fortunately, yesterday’s edition of The New York Times included an article predicting that the worst is over and that 2008 will see the dollar get its groove back. This is hopeful news for investors, and the article offers some expert advice as to what stocks and markets we should put our resurgent greenbacks into. It’s also great news for globetrotters who felt the sting of foreign price tags last year. I had a busy personal travel calendar in 2007 and, after a pricey jaunt to New Zealand and French Polynesia in February, and a two-month summer stay in Wales and England, where the dollar was crippled, I finally learned my lesson when choosing a New Year’s Eve destination: Guatemala. The dollar still has buying power in some places! Let’s hope this list expands in 2008.
You surely have been inundated with this news story, which is essentially contained within its own headline Oil breaks $100 as U.S. stockpiles drop Did you catch this one, though? Toyota Ousts Ford From No. 2 Spot in U.S. Sales It’s not like we didn’t know either one of these was coming—and these aren’t really necessarily bad things, in the long term. But I think we may find that, presidential caucuses and primaries aside, it will set the tone for 2008.
This summer, London-based news-magazine, The Economist, ranked its best cities for business travel, and three countries dominated the top ten locations. Canada packed a one-two punch as Toronto (pictured right) and Vancouver snagged the two top spots. Australia’s less-visited cities, Adelaide and Perth, came in third and fourth, while U.S. destination Cleveland rounded out the top five. Honolulu, USA and Melbourne, Australia tied for sixth place, while Brisbane, Australia and Pittsburgh, USA took eighth and ninth places. The tenth spot was occupied by the only destination outside of the Canada-Australia-USA trifecta: Vienna, Austria. The combination of sound infrastructures and low expenses helped these cities to receive the best business travel ratings, according to The Economist’s Intelligence Unit. When generating data, the index also incorporated other factors, such as crime rates, efficient transportation, recreation, distance from airports, climate, and hotels. It was cost, however, that clearly caused many popular European cities to be absent from the top of the rankings, due to the robust Euro. Jakarta, Indonesia, Bogota, Colombia, and Lusaka, Zambia, ranked last, were designated the three least attractive business destinations in the world.