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 Feature Industry Articles 
Wednesday, November 23 2016
Oil, Gas, Coal & Shale Energy Outlook

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Shale in the United States 2016
Over the past decade, the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has provided access to large volumes of oil and natural gas that were previously uneconomic to produce from low permeability geological formations composed of shale, sandstone, and carbonate (e.g., limestone). Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock that forms from the compaction of silt and clay-size mineral particles. Black shale contains organic material that can generate oil and natural gas, and that can also trap the generated oil and natural gas within its pores.

Where are shale gas and oil resources found?
Shale oil and natural gas resources are found in shale formations that contain significant accumulations of natural gas and/or oil. The Barnett Shale in Texas has been producing natural gas for more than a decade. Information gained from developing the Barnett Shale provided the initial technology template for developing other shale plays in the United States. Another important shale gas play is the Marcellus Shale in the eastern United States. While the Barnett and Marcellus formations are well-known shale gas plays in the United States, more than thirty U.S. states overlie shale formations.

Posted by: AT 09:43 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 23 2016
Health Care and Real Estate Development Trends in the U.S.

By Jim Damicis, Senior Vice President and Alexandra Tranmer, Economic Development Specialist of Camoin Associates

It has been a year since Alex Tranmer and Jim Damicis of Camoin Associates profiled the health care industry and made the case for why it is important to consider the industry in community economic development plans. This month, Alex and Jim are back to discuss the real estate implications of the changing health care landscape. They find that real estate management is a key component to a health care network’s portfolio and more health care providers are devoting budget and resources to understanding how to strategically position themselves in communities. This requires an understanding of emerging trends driving the industry as well as local and regional economies. Between the shift to a value-based reimbursement system and an increasing number of individuals with access to health insurance, providers have been driven to explore different ways to cut costs and bring in additional revenue-all while still providing high quality care at competitive rates. The answer for many provider networks has been two-fold: revisiting the management of their real estate portfolios and branching out of typical locations to expand how and where they are able to reach a wider patient market – sometimes in unlikely spaces.

It is no secret that health care costs are rising for all parties involved: insurance companies, doctors and patients. For health care consumers (or patients), premiums for health insurance plans have been decreasing, while deductibles, the portion of the procedure that the consumer must pay for out-of-pocket, are simultaneously increasing. In the last five years, the average deductible for a single coverage plan was up $486, or 49 percent to $1,478.

Posted by: AT 09:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 22 2016
Setting the Table for Successful Food Manufacturing Plant Location: Logistics are Key

By Frank Spano, Managing Director and Susan Riffle, Manager of Communications, The Austin Company

Economic change affects all industries, but some are more recession-resistant than others. The food industry is a good example of that. Consumer habits may change due to the economy: restaurants are more popular during times of prosperity, home cooking is more appropriate when times are lean. In either case, the food industry is fueled by consistent consumer demand, although the nature of that demand is, more than ever, constantly in flux.

During May of 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics placed employment in the food processing sector at slightly under 1.5-million workers. Annual payroll during this period was approximately $57.5-billion dollars.

If these figures aren’t enough testament to the sector’s overall health, the industry itself proves to be very optimistic. According to the 2016 annual U.S. Food & Beverage Industry Study, released in June by WeiserMazars LLP, most food and beverage companies anticipate a significant increase in sales this year. Survey participants — drawn from over 200 companies across the food and beverage industry — are confident that sales will increase 14 percent compared to 2015, and project net profits will rise by 10 percent.1  That optimism has proven not unfounded: the latest industry figures from CSI Market cited net income in the food processing industry in the second quarter of 2016 as having improved by 53.95 percent over 2015, with quarter-over-quarter net income growth well above the manufacturing industry average.2

Posted by: AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 22 2016
Back Office Relocation Trends

By John Boyd, Jr., Principal of The Boyd Co., Inc., Location Consultants of Princeton, New Jersey

Corporate Headquarters Mobility
Back office migration is one of the hottest sectors of the corporate relocation industry today. While back office moves to cities where operating costs are a fraction of head office capitals like New York, San Francisco and Boston is not entirely new, the pace is at an unprecedented level and is putting new office markets nationwide in play for relocating back office jobs.

What's driving this new wave of back office relocations is the heightened mobility of the corporate headquarters itself and the realization by many corporations – faced with global competition and an uncertain economy - that improving the bottom line on the cost side of the ledger is far easier than on the revenue side.

Historically untouchable in corporate restructuring programs, the corporate headquarters office is now in play like never before. Just ask Omaha, still reeling from ConAgra’s relocation of its headquarters from Omaha to downtown Chicago and its jettisoning of some 1,500 jobs. Or ask Bergen County, NJ, after losing the Mercedes-Benz North American headquarters and some 2,000 jobs to Atlanta. Fortune 500 food giant ConAgra had called Omaha home for almost a 100 years and Mercedes-Benz has been a fixture in Bergen County for half a century.

Posted by: AT 10:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 22 2016
Advance Manufacturing or Bust?

By Kevin Hively and Ariana McBride, Ninigret Partners LLC

State of Manufacturing in the U.S.
Manufacturing remains an important part of the U.S. economy representing approximately 19 percent of the nation’s gross economic output and 10 percent of the employment base. 
U.S. manufacturing employment has not recovered since the start of the Great Recession. According to the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research (BEA), the Great Recession began in December 2007.  At that time manufacturing accounted for 13.8 million jobs in the U.S. In 2015,  manufacturing included 12.3 million jobs representing a decline of 11 percent from 2007 numbers. However, it’s worth noting that, while Great Recession ran from late 2007 to June 2009, manufacturing employment reached its lowest point in 2010.  If we measure from the trough in manufacturing employment, total manufacturing jobs have increased by 7 percent.

However, manufacturing is not a monolithic economic sector.  There is little similarity in making shoes compared to manufacturing biotherapeutics as an example.  Accordingly, within manufacturing there can be wide variation in economic performance.  Understanding the differences in sector activity is critical to explaining manufacturing’s economic performance.

Posted by: AT 10:42 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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